More Medical Marijuana Controversy in Louisiana
I'm fascinated and slightly disappointed with the way medical marijuana has been handled in the state of Louisiana. Marijuana can do a lot of great things for sick people. The medical world has proven that. Republicans and Democrats in Louisiana (some of the most divided in the country, I might add) agreed and legalized it for medical use (back when Republican Bobby Jindal was Governor, by the way!). The ball was rolling, medical marijuana was supposed to be out in January for those in need. But then something happened.
Now, depending on who you talk to, you can get a 1000 different explanations about why medicinal marijuana is not available. Some blame AG Commissioner Mike Strain, some blame LSU, some blame GB Sciences...but no matter where you place the blame, there seems to be a never ending battle that is preventing the sick from receiving much needed relief.
The latest in this drama is almost unbelievable. A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that LSU and GB Sciences were denied the right to begin production of their medical marijuana. Despite the fact the crop of pot was approved the by the AG Department, Commissioner Strain said they couldn't begin turn the marijuana into medicine because GB Science had yet to pass a background check from the State Police. GB Sciences say they turned in all the paperwork needed, Strain says they didn't.
Fast forward a few days, and its announced that LSU and GB Sciences can move into their new, permanent grow facility. Awesome, right? Nope...not so fast. Despite Strain publicly saying the facility is ready and that its exciting, he halted the move because he hadn't given them his blessing and accused LSU of illegally expanding their operation. LSU is now accusing Strain of being reckless with his accusations and intimated that Strain may be purposely delaying the process.
Things have gotten so ugly between the two parties that the Governor has had to step in. John Bel Edwards over the weekend when asked about the situation said the following:
I would encourage them to work together - work through whatever obstacles and speed bumps there are - and let’s get this done,” Edwards told news reporters. “I believe we need to move forward as quickly as possible, but I’m not here today to cast any blame... It’s kind of sad to allow people to suffer needlessly if the medical marijuana will help them.
The next step in this fiasco is that the two parties have to go to a hearing where, hopefully, this whole mess will get sorted out. LSU is threatening a lawsuit. Strain is threatening legal actions as well. Its just an ugly, ugly situation at the moment. Because, as the governor said, its pretty sad that people are suffering because something somewhere has come off the rails.