By Anthony Martinelli

Louisiana’s full Senate has given approval to legislation that would make the state’s medical marijuana law permanent.

House Bill 823, filed by Representative Vincent Pierre (D), was passed by the Senate in a 21 to 13 vote. The bill has already been approved by the House of Representatives 69 to 23. Given it was amended in the Senate, it will need to be passed once more by the House before it can be sent to the state’s governor who can sign it into law, allow it to become law without a signature, or veto it.

According the official text of House Bill 823, it “Repeals the termination date of laws authorizing the recommendation or prescription of medical marijuana in the treatment of certain debilitating medical conditions”.

This would make permanent Louisiana’s current medical marijuana law, which was passed in 2016. The law allows those with a qualifying condition to purchase and use medical marijuana products, given they receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include cachexia/wasting syndrome, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders/spasticity. This law is set to expire in 2020, but would become permanent under House Bill 823.

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