Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Medical Marijuana Opens Up a Can of Worms in Louisiana!
Who would have thought that the most notable legislation in the recently completed session of the Louisiana legislature was increasing taxes by over one billion dollars, and legalizing marijuana use for certain purposes. Some observers around the state capitol wondered sarcastically just where did all the conservative republicans go?
Cannabis, the technical name for the marijuana plant, is now legal for medical use under directives yet to be developed. But the devil is in the details. Three different state boards have to develop rules and regulations for dispensation. Who can receive marijuana for medical purposes? Is simply a doctor’s prescription all that is needed? Use is supposed to be limited to a few categories. But who is going to regulate and monitor what prescriptions are written?
Then who is actually going to cultivate the marijuana? The LSU School of Agriculture has the right of first refusal to grow the weed. But if they opt out, who gets a license to raise and farm the plant? If you thought there was political influence in giving out riverboat licenses, imagine the wheeling and dealing that will take place over licenses to grow pot.
All this regulatory bureaucracy is the easy stuff. What really will concern businesses are the legal ramifications. Can employees use medical marijuana in the workplace? What if such use impacts a worker’s ability to function in the job. Can the supervisor fire the employee? Can the employee be demoted for not be able to perform some of the required tasks? What business would want their worker to drive or operate machinery while smoking marijuana? Continue Reading………