Marijuana is fast becoming one of the most talked-about items in the current session of the Louisiana Legislature. The current session was gaveled into order last week and already lawmakers are moving quickly on bills concerning marijuana. There are measures currently being debated that support the decriminalization of marijuana. There are also measures that are being considered that would change the way medical marijuana is administered in the state.

Last week the House Ways and Means Committee gave unanimous approval for a tax structure that would allow for the taxing of raw or smoke-able medical marijuana. Proponents of the legislation say permitting medical marijuana use in this form would be less expensive for those who have been prescribed the drug.

The measure approved by the Ways and Means Committee would tax raw medical marijuana at a rate of 4.45%. That's the state sales tax level. Current forms of medical marijuana in the state are not subject to tax but those tinctures are far more expensive to produce and for patients to use.

In order for the tax structure provisions to be realized lawmakers will need to pass a companion piece of legislation concerning medical marijuana. That measure would make it legal for raw or inhalable marijuana to be sold. That kind of makes sense, I am pretty sure no one is going to pay taxes on a substance they could get arrested for selling.

Legislators have noted a strong shift in marijuana attitudes in the state over the past few years. Many lawmakers feel that not only will smokeable medical marijuana become a reality in Louisiana but many feel that the days of legalized recreational marijuana won't be too far behind in Louisiana.

The recently passed legislation concerning raw medical marijuana will now head to the full House of Representatives for further debate. And if for some reason our topic of discussion has made you hungry, or maybe it's just that "medicine" you're taking, here are some suggestions to help quell the rumblings of your tummy.

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