Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a landmark medical marijuana bill into law that is expected to make medical marijuana available to patients for the first time in Louisiana history.
Edwards signed the bill Thursday during a ceremony on the fourth floor of the Capitol in front of key legislators who guided the bill to passage, First Lady Donna Edwards, and the families of children with conditions they believe can be treated with the drug. Among those present were a family from Edwards’ hometown of Amite who have a son that suffers from daily seizures and would qualify for the drug.
“This is one of those bills I believe will have a positive impact on the people that need it the most,” Edwards said. “The state of Louisiana should not interpose itself between doctors and patients when the doctors believe they have a patient who will benefit from medical marijuana.”
Although Edwards’ signature marked a significant moment for dispensing medical marijuana, it will be some time before doctors could actually recommend the drug to patients and a pharmacy could dispense it. By one estimate, it could take about 18 months, but if other states adopting medical marijuana legislation give any indication, it could take even longer. [Read more at the New Orleans Times-Picayune]