A bill significantly expanding medical marijuana access is nearing final passage.
Under the legislation any condition a doctor considers “debilitating to an individual patient” would be eligible to receive medical marijuana. New Iberia Senator Fred Mills says the current limitations are too strict.
“Many more disease states advocates and patients have said, why not me?” says Mills.
Mills authored the first medical marijuana bill.
The legislation lifts the requirement that a doctor is specifically licensed to prescribe medical marijuana. Mills says that has severely limited access.
“Because physicians kind of has to go that extra mile, if you have your current physician and that physician has not gone that extra step then you have to find another physician so accessibility has become a big issue,” says Mills.
The doctor must be in good standing to authorize the treatment.
Bill author Stonewall Representative Larry Bagley says the legislation was brought due to popular demand.
“There are constituents that I have in my district when I sent out a questionnaire it overwhelmingly passed, people want to have access,” says Bagley.
The bill easily passed the full House 77-15, and cleared a Senate committee 5-1. It moves to the full Senate for final passage.