As medical marijuana use becomes more mainstream, Louisiana has decided to ease restrictions on medical marijuana flowers. House Bill 391, which was recently passed by the Louisiana legislature and signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards will allow medical marijuana patients in the state access to smokable medical marijuana flowers. Smokable medical marijuana flowers will be available from all nine medical cannabis pharmacies in the state beginning in January 2022. Patients will then be able to purchase up to 71 grams of the flower every 14 days from (only) these cannabis pharmacies.
Louisiana was one of the few states that prevented people from having access to flowers. Under the previous legislation, medical cannabis patients couldn’t use whole-plant flower, and smoking was prohibited; nevertheless, they could vaporize cannabis preparations with a “metered-dose inhaler,” which is a device that allows for precise dosages of medicine to be delivered to the lungs.
Even though many areas in the United States have permitted marijuana usage for medical and non-medical purposes, it is still a federal offense. Marijuana is classified similarly to heroin by the government and Louisiana was one of the strictest places in the US for enforcing possession as a crime. Around the same time as this legislation, Governor Edwards also removed jail time for low-level marijuana possession.
For many years, efforts to legalize marijuana have been under discussion. The government may legalize and regulate marijuana in one of two ways: decriminalizing and controlling it. This implies that they would be able to tax the marijuana business. Decriminalization would make it legal to use, but not sell the drug. Legalizing medical marijuana is a step in this direction which will give nearly half of US citizens access to medical cannabis and medical marijuana treatments for their ailments.
It’s impossible to say when federal legalization will happen. It might take months or even years, but for right now, in Louisiana, this new legislation is a giant step in the right direction.
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