Proponents argue that it's a plant. It's natural. Its benefits to the medical community and the patients that they treat using it have a large positive upside. Yet there seems to be a lot of feet dragging in its implementation.

What "it" is is medical marijuana. Unfortunately for those who were hoping to use medical marijuana under their doctor's supervision the wait is more than likely going to be another year or longer.

The reality is this. Medical marijuana is much different that the "street" form of the drug.

It's not as simple as putting some seeds in the ground, adding water and the sunshine and some fertilizer and then after a few months, we'll have a foul smelling pharmaceutical factory. This product is a drug. It must go through the same processes that manufacturers go through to bring any prescription drug into your home.

As of now, speculation is that Louisiana's first medical marijuana dispensation will occur about a year from now. Officials at LSU who have been charged with producing the crop for pharmaceutical use are expected to finalize their agreements and contracts by June of this year.

Should that happen Louisiana's first official crop of medical marijuana could be ready by the end of the year. Not so fast, the product still needs to be vetted and certified so that doctors can prescribe with certainty the strength of the doses they will be ordering for their patients.  That will add even more time to the process.

The bottom line is this. Medical marijuana should be available in Louisiana by prescription within one year's time. While it might seem a long wait officials want to make sure they get the process, the product, and the procedural steps completed in the correct order.