The First State To Legalize Medical Marijuana Is Finally About To Get It Right

Louisiana is poised to officially become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana. On May 16, the state senators approved the House's revisions to a bill that would officially allow patients to access marijuana for medicinal uses. The bill is now headed to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards (D), who has said he would sign it and thereby make medical marijuana officially legal in Louisiana.

If you're wondering why we keep stressing the word "officially," it's because Louisiana was technically the first American state to legalize medical marijuana. When charting the origins of authorized cannabis in America, most people start with California, which legalized medical marijuana in 1996. But that's almost 20 years after Louisiana actually legalized marijuana in 1978. However, the language of Louisiana's law prevented anyone from using it.

The confusion essentially surrounds the use of one word. Louisiana's bill allowed physicians to...

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