Louisiana Governor Signs a Southern Take on Legal Cannabis

The American legal marijuana movement is now twenty-five states deep.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a so-landmark-it-is-bodacious medical-marijuana bill into law Thursday. Senate Bill 271 creates what industry watchers are calling the South's first comprehensive medical pot program

The legislation also makes The Pelican State the 25th to employ a cannabis treatment program, pushing the United States to the halfway-there mark in its inexorable march toward full national acceptance of weed's healing attributes

Louisiana cannabis idealists and legal weed dreamers should hold off on any celebratory consumption. 

The notable tokes from this fresh crop of weed laws are found in the details: Medical cannabis in Louisiana will potentially be grown by a single cultivator. The governor's signature is really just the first step in a long path that might have potential patients medicating with weed more than a year from now.

From The Baton Rouge Advocate:

"The [Louisiana State University] and Southern University Agricultural Centers have been granted first crack at being the sole growers and producers of medical marijuana in Louisiana. The monopoly would go by public bid to a single provider if the universities refuse."

The state also recognized and defined the difference (in legal terms, at least) between a physician's "recommendation" and a doctor's "prescription."

Since cannabis is still schedule 1 AF, a doctor cannot legally prescribe the herb for any sort of medical treatment, not in Louisiana and not in any of the other 24 states (and the District of Columbia) that allow cannabis use to address specific ailments.

One of the billion-dollar questions that still remains is: At what percentage of states adopting a legal-medical weed policy will the nation take that great step forward and allow doctors to prescribe marijuana therapy?