Louisiana finally released the first batches of legal marijuana. Tinctures hit pharmacy shelves and are starting to get into the public’s hands. Recreational use of marijuana is still illegal, so if you want to obtain legal marijuana, a doctor’s prescription or recommendation is required.
Marijuana will likely be prevalent in society into the foreseeable future. As people find medical uses for it, it may become more accepted. There will some folks gaming the system, however, by pretending to have medical issues to get it.
At first glance, Louisiana regulations make it seem hard to get legal marijuana. The only form permitted is a concentrated extract called a tincture. Smoking marijuana is not allowed under the present version of the statutes. The statutory grounds to get it include cancer, glaucoma, and a handful of other conditions.
There are a number of things some doctors told me are catch-all ways to obtain marijuana. For instance, while Louisiana does not permit the use of marijuana for anxiety, it does allow it for several broad and questionable categories, including chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How a doctor defines chronic pain and PTSD, however, leaves much ground for interpretation. A few doctors are advertising locally to prescribe marijuana. Consultation costs seem to be around $200, based on their websites. I imagine that if you pay the fee, you get the prescription pretty easily.
So what happens if someone pretends to have a medical issue, in order to enjoy the ganja? Are they now committing medical fraud? I suspect the issue of legitimate use will be carefully looked at, and people who misrepresent could potentially be in some trouble. There will definitely be a continued tug-of-war between people who are for complete decriminalization and those who are still hoping to completely criminalize weed.
The legitimate medical use of marijuana should not be infringed upon by people unhappy with the new laws. Doctors will still need to balance the legitimate use of marijuana with those seeking it for recreational purposes.
If Louisiana goes the way of most states, it will eventually be legalized for all purposes. That is not the case, as of now. Police are still making arrests. Since Louisiana still prohibits smoking marijuana, it’s pretty easy for cops to tell the difference between the tincture and other products.
If you are going to use it anyway, we recommend you investigate the possibility of legally obtaining a prescription. It may be more expensive than the unregulated (illegal) market, but it won’t lead to your arrest.
Written by Ted Baldwin