A bill that expands illnesses that medical marijuana can be prescribed for has cleared the house health and welfare committee.

Baton Rouge representative ted James bill adds Post traumatic stress disorder, Muscle spasms, and intractable pain to diagnoses that physicians will be able to prescribe medical marijuana for when it becomes available in Louisiana.

The house panel voted 8 to 4 in favor of the bill which James says will help many people here in Louisiana as well as help slow a growing opioid problem.

“This will help address a growing opioid crisis, prolong like, make life more enjoyable for some people and save some lives,” says Rep. Ted James D-Baton Rouge.

Will Hall, PhD with the Louisiana Baptist Coalition warned the committee that not enough research has been done to determine the out-come of increasing the access to medical marijuana.

“We are putting patients at risk from what has become this craft industry where people are using a lot of different sources, the raw plant, canibadile, etcetera,” says Hall.

Hall also argues the pot industry hasn’t come together to or agreed to a single plant strain that they can monitor its effectiveness.

“There is no consistent strain of plant, you have multiple different strains of plants developed that have multiple different intensities,” added Hall.

James says his motivation is his constituents are leaving the state to go to other state’s to get medical marijuana because they have tried the drug and it works.

“I have continued to hear from constituents who travel out of the state to get what they know will help,” says James.

The bill moves to the house floor for consideration.

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