New Louisiana law increases access to medical marijuana

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WGNO) — This week governor John Bel Edwards signed into law a bill that now allows any physician licensed in the state to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. Proponents see this as a win for patient access.

Ruston Henry of H & W Dispensary, the only dispensary in New Orleans said, (this helps patient’s) “access to this medication. They couldn’t go to the doctor, there was only select doctors that were able to write medical marijuana recommendations. Now I would say in the metro area we had maybe 30 doctors, now it’s unlimited”

Unlimited because the governor signed into law the bill by Rep. Larry Bagwell of Stonewall, La. Also expanded under the new law is why a physician can prescribe the medication to include any condition that a doctor considers debilitating to an individual patient.

Henry said, “Previously there were 14 conditions, now there are unlimited conditions of whatever the doctor thinks you need such as anxiety or insomnia, those are just two of the conditions that weren’t in before.”

Proponents of cannabis-based medications also consider them less addictive than traditional treatments.”

“It’s safe and it’s proven effective. With the opioid crisis, you have people dying every day from an overdose. I see it as a viable option, it alleviates the pain without the addictive properties,” said Henry.

WGNO-TV’s Teaching Doctor, Dr. Rachel says that possibly the biggest advantage is that doctors know their patients and health histories, and can better monitor whether the medication is effective or not.

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