The bill to expand the list of diseases for which medical marijuana can be prescribed finally passed the Senate, after previously falling one vote short. Metairie Senator Conrad Appel opposes the bill, citing sources that says this would lead to increased use of the drug for non-medical purposes.
“In every state where medical marijuana has been legislated, the incidents of non-medical use has dramatically increased, the incidents of use in children has increased, and the incidents of addiction has increased,” Appel said.
Metairie Senator Danny Martiny spoke out in opposition saying marijuana is a Schedule I drug. He says we shouldn’t legalize something just because other states are.
“It’s a Schedule I drug, and it’s an illegal drug, according to the federal law, and all we do is stand around here and say ‘Well you know, other states do it, other states do it,’” Martiny said.
Parks Senator Fred Mills authored the legislation to include seizure disorders, HIV, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, and other diseases. He says people are leaving the state to seek this treatment elsewhere. He read a text from the mother of an epileptic girl, who had to go to Colorado to get the medication she needs.
“We are sincerely thankful for the efforts you are making. Please legalize this so we can come home,” Mills said.
Slidell Senator Sharon Hewitt supports the bill because of the huge influx of emails she received from parents of children who need this medicine. She says many of them said the medical marijuana is the only drug that works for their children.
“These parents, all they want is an opportunity to be able to help their children. This is life changing for them,” Hewitt said.
The bill now moves to the House.