Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday signed two bills that in one year represent more progress on reforming marijuana laws than the state has made in the 24 years since legalizing medical marijuana in 1991.
In the case of one of the bills, which would set up a framework for dispensing marijuana for medical purposes (SB 143), it will make Louisiana the first state in the South to make marijuana available for a wide range of chronically ill patients. The state passed medical marijuana legislation in 1991, but never set up a framework for how the state would cultivate, prescribe or dispense the drug.
The other bill (HB 149) would reform criminal penalties for marijuana, making it a misdemeanor rather than a felony for a second offense of marijuana possession. It also allows first-time offenders to erase their first conviction for possessing marijuana if they don’t re-offend within two years. [Read more at the New Orleans Times-Picayune]