BATON ROUGE, La. (June 13, 2016) – Last week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill specifically exempting medical marijuana patients and caregivers from prosecution in the state. Along with another measure that was signed into law earlier this year, it gives Louisiana a basis for a functional medical marijuana program, setting the foundation to nullify federal prohibition in effect.
Sen. Fred Mills Jr. (R-St. Martinville) introduced Senate Bill 180 (SB180) on Mar. 14. It contains simple and straight-forward language making it clear that medical marijuana patients and providers will not be subject to criminal penalties under Louisiana state law as long as they abide by the existing rules and regulations set forth by the legislature. It reads, in part:
Any person who is a patient of the state-sponsored medical marijuana program in Louisiana, and who possesses medical marijuana…, a caregiver…, or any person who is a domiciliary parent of a minor child who possesses medical marijuana on behalf of his minor child… for a condition enumerated therein pursuant to a legitimate medical marijuana prescription or recommendation, shall not be subject to prosecution for possession or distribution of marijuana under this Section for possessing medical marijuana or dispensing medical marijuana to his minor child who is a patient of the state-sponsored medical marijuana program.