Louisiana House passes sweeping medical marijuana legislation

Medical marijuana advocates won a significant victory Wednesday in their efforts to jumpstart Louisiana's medical marijuana program.

The House voted 62-31 to expand the program to cover more diseases and to make regulatory changes aimed at getting medicinal-grade pot into patients' hands more quickly.

The bill by Republican Sen. Fred Mills, a pharmacist from St. Martin Parish, has received Senate backing. Wednesday's vote sends the bill back to the Senate for consideration of House changes. If it gets final passage there, Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he will sign it into law.

Lawmakers created the framework for a medical marijuana program in Louisiana last year, but regulatory hurdles built into the law have slowed its start.

Bill supporters describe children struggling with uncontrollable seizures and patients coping with horrible pain. They said the program only allows medical marijuana in an oil form that can't be smoked....

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