A bill introduced in Louisiana would legalize medical marijuana in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.

House Bill 6 (HB6) was introduced on Feb. 6 by Rep. Dalton Honore (D-63). This bill would set up a program to distribute medical marijuana to certain eligible patients, something federal law considers illegal.

Under HB6, patients could qualify for medical marijuana if they are over the age of 21, received a recommendation from their personal physician, and suffer from “a seizure disorder, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, severe nausea or vomiting resulting from the administration of chemotherapy, or terminal cancer.”

Marijuana production and distribution facilities would be allowed under the bill, and licensed by the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy. It would cost $5,000 to a secure a license for distribution, and $10,000 to secure a license for production with subsequent renewal fees costing half of those totals. A “Therapeutic Marijuana Utilization Review Board” consisting primarily of government officials would be set up to review and regulate the intra-state medical marijuana industry.

If successfully passed, HB6 would go into effect on January 1, 2016. The bill is presently in the Committee on Health and Welfare where it will need to pass through successfully before it can receive a vote in the full state house.


The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.

“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.

As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition. They simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave. For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in Louisiana, this cannot come too soon.

Medical marijuana is an incredibly important issue pertaining to nullification and states’ rights. Because it is so overwhelmingly popular, medical marijuana can act as a metaphorical ‘gateway drug’ to the idea of state and local resistance to onerous federal laws. With this issue, it is possible to show the residents of your state that local control better serves the needs of the people than the top-down federal approach that has failed for so many decades.

Although it draws a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, HB6 marks an enormous step in the right direction for both medical marijuana supporters and advocates of decentralized government in the state of Louisiana. It signals that the public is ready to throw off the shackles of ‘federal supremacy’ and take lawmaking into their own hands.


For Louisiana: Take steps to support this important bill at THIS LINK

For other states: Contact your state legislators and politely demand that they introduce bills that push back against prohibition on medical or recreational cannabis. Start here.

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