The road for medical marijuana in Louisiana has been a long one. The bill to legalize medical marijuana was passed over 4 years ago. Yet, we're closing in on June of 2019 and patients still have yet to receive their much needed treatments. If you Google "Louisiana Medical Marijuana" you will see dozens of articles placing blame on why the process has been so long, tedious and complicated. But no matter why or how, the fact is that people are suffering because they haven't received the treatments and medicines they need.

Now, when you mention "medical marijuana" some folks get the image of "Deadheads" in VW vans working the system so they can get a "legal high". But, that is far from the truth. You can't get "high" from the form of marijuana Louisiana has legalized. It has to be below a certain THC level and is only available in pill, oil or ointment forms. This drug is a much safer alternative to highly addictive and dangerous opioids and can treat other ailments as well.

The sad part is while it would seem politics is at the very least playing a part in the long delay, people are suffering. You can search online or talk to Dr. Doug Boudreaux (the local medical marijuana pharmacist) and hear absolute horror stories about what people are going through while waiting for proper treatment of their ailments. And aside from the pain and suffering, we are losing residents. I recently saw accounts of those in need either buying the drug illegally or leaving the state for somewhere they can actually get what they need. I'm not going to say that the lack of medicinal marijuana is killing people, but it certainly is causing great pain and discomfort for many.

Now, the drug is supposed to be hitting shelves by mid-June. But those who have been waiting aren't holding their breath. The drug was also supposed to be available in January, February, March, April, May...well, you get the picture.

Will the drug actually be available in a few weeks? Will there be enough to actually take care of those in desperate need of relief? Time will tell. I just hope that we as a state can get our act together soon because people with illnesses like cancer, AIDS and muscular dystrophy are in severe pain and suffering.

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