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Is marijuana legal in Louisiana yet?

As a southern state, you'd expect that Louisiana -- like it's neighbors -- would be one of the last holdouts when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. However, certain qualifying patients can utilize medical cannabis in our state since May 2016.

The passage of Louisiana's medical marijuana bill was an important step forward for the numerous patients that can benefit. The problem is that the list of qualifying conditions for legal use of medical marijuana in our state is still extremely limited.

What can medical marijuana be used to treat in Louisiana?

Here is the short list of conditions that you can treat with medical marijuana in Louisiana at this time:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Cancer
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Seizure disorders (spasticity)

Patients suffering from the above medical conditions may not use smokeable marijuana to treat their illenses, but they can use approved nonsmokeable varieties of the drug.

Beware of breaking the law by self-medicating

If you suffer from another kind of medical condition than one listed above, the law does not allow you to take medical marijuana. If you choose to "self-medicate" -- by illegally obtaining marijuana and using it in the privacy of your home -- you will be in violation of the law and you could be arrested and accused of serious drug crimes.

Unfortunately, there are numerous patients suffering from chronic conditions that could be treated with medical marijuana, and these individuals are left to suffer unnecessarily. Equally tragic are the stories of suffering patients, who chose to seek relief against the law, and are now in prison as a result. The situation is sad and unfortunate for these patients, but slowly, the law may change to be in their favor -- if Louisiana follows suit with what appears to be the national trend.

Were you charged with a marijuana crime?

If you were taking marijuana to treat your medical condition, and you were arrested as a result, it's important that you know your legal rights and options. Certain criminal defense strategies may be useful during the navigation your criminal proceedings.

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Law Office of John E. Fitz-Gerald, L.L.C.
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Lake Charles, LA 70629

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