State House bill advanced to allow patients to inhale medical marijuana

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(Sarah Gamard, LSU Manship School News Service)

By: Hunter Lovell, LSU Manship School News Service

Published: May 14, 2019

BATON ROUGE–The House advanced a bill Tuesday that would allow patients to inhale medical marijuana.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, passed in a 73-3 vote and now goes to the Senate.

James said the bill would not permit smoking. The medical cannabis would be breathed through a device similar to an asthma inhaler.

The sale of the raw plant form of marijuana is still prohibited in Louisiana.

James also included an amendment that would allow doctors who live outside the state to recommend therapeutic medical marijuana usage. Current law only authorizes licensed in-state physicians to approve marijuana treatments.

Patients must have “debilitating medical conditions” to legally use medical cannabis in the state. Those conditions include cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, intractable pain, and human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.

It is still not clear when medical marijuana will be administered to patients in the state. Both chambers passed legislation in 2015 to allow the drug to be used by patients with debilitating conditions.

Read more in KALB.

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