When United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo on Jan. 4, 2018, announcing the reversal of federal marijuana enforcement policy, politicians across the country were outraged, and now the Pelican State has joined in and asked President Donald Trump to protect Louisiana medical marijuana.
On Jan. 8, Gov. John Bel Edwards sent a letter to Trump, requesting that state medical marijuana programs be allowed to continue without fear of federal prosecution.
If the Department of Justice is successful in its efforts to have language removed from the federal funding bill that protects state-legal medical marijuana, Edwards is concerned that it will have grave consequences for the people of his state.
“This exposes state actors and state-sanctioned agents to potential federal criminal liability despite their adherence to state law which was approved by our legislature and signed into law,” Edwards wrote. “If this were to take place, it would devastating to so many men, women and children who are anxiously awaiting access to this treatment option.”
According to the Associated Press, acting U.S. Attorney of Louisiana’s Middle District, Corey Amundson, doesn’t see Louisiana medical marijuana being affected by Sessions’ policy shift; nevertheless, Edwards requested Trump’s support.
“This issue is critically important in Louisiana, and I hope we can partner together to ensure the safe distribution of this life-changing form of treatment,” Edwards added.
Edwards signed Senate Bill 271, expanding the number of qualifying conditions for the Louisiana medical marijuana program and revising rules to expedite access, on May 19, 2016.
Louisiana’s two state-sanctioned medical marijuana cultivators, Louisiana State University and Southern University, have already selected their medical marijuana vendors and LSU expects to have medical marijuana ready for patients by mid-2018.