West Monroe, La. - UPDATE (04/19/2018) : People suffering from multiple diseases and disorders go to a pharmacy to fill their prescriptions. Soon, those that qualify, will be able to go to a separate pharmacy to fill medical marijuana prescriptions.
However, one local pharmacist says it's not going to be a walk in the park to receive. "Patients are going to be required to have already gone through other therapies. So this is like a last resort therapy. What they're going to do with medical marijuana [is] they're going to extract the THC down to the lowest amount possible, that works synergistically with the CBD in it, and that's where the effects come from," said registered pharmacist Amy Pleasant.
One local resident says at first she didn't agree with the decision to have marijuana, in any form, in the state of Louisiana.
"To me when you're legalizing marijuana, you're legalizing a drug and I had a problem with that. So I'm really glad to know for the people that seriously need it for medical purposes, that the bad part is extracted from it and you get the good parts," said Diane Griggs.
Griggs reveals that after learning the difference, she had a change of heart. "I had mixed emotions in the beginning, but I honestly had no idea that there's a huge difference in recreational marijuana and prescriptive marijuana," she said.
For those that may be confused, Pleasant says there is a difference in terminology worth noting. "Pot would refer to recreational marijuana, which is what people abuse. They abuse marijuana because of the high that they get. Medical marijuana will have the THC, the high, extracted from it," she said.
Pleasant also wants to assure residents that medical marijuana licenses aren't in place to make a path for recreational marijuana use. "I think that the misconception is that allowing marijuana is just a gateway to eventually making recreational marijuana legal. That is not the goal of Louisiana."
According to the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy, medical marijuana prescriptions are only available to those with: cancer, HIV/AIDS, cachexia, seizure disorders, epilepsy, Chron's Disease, Muscular Dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
Pleasant says that legislators are already working to add PTSD to that list and that she would like to see Autism and Alzheimers added as well.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: According to our partners at The News-Star, Medical marijuana licenses for Monroe, Shreveport and Alexandria were awarded by the Louisiana Pharmacy Board here Wednesday even as some lawmakers criticized the process.
The board also awarded a license for the southeastern Louisiana region Wednesday. Five licenses were awarded Tuesday.
Nine licenses were issued for the state's nine regions. A 10th is being held to be issued based on need.
Read more at The News-Star.
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