Medical marijuana laws questioned after Good Samaritan busted

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Good Samaritan stopped on the side of the road to help a broken down motorist. When police arrived, the officer smelled marijuana smoke and arrested the man who stopped to help.

That man's defense attorney says it may have been legal for his client to have the marijuana because he had a prescription for it.

"He has a legal prescription to possess marijuana. The state of Louisiana, as we stand right now, doesn't recognize or they don't want to recognize marijuana prescriptions. But the way the law is written is that if you have a prescription from a licensed physician then you should be able to possess marijuana without any illegal consequences," said defense attorney Donald Dobbins.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Dumaine begs to differ. He does, however, admit Louisiana law is a little sketchy on the subject of medical marijuana.

"This is something occasionally … where people believe they are in lawful possession of marijuana because they have a prescription from somewhere. But if you look at the laws of Louisiana you will see there is really no way to be in lawful possession of marijuana with a prescription," said Dumaine.

Attorney Dobbins says Louisiana law on medical marijuana raises as many questions as it answers. The law says the Secretary of Health and Hospitals by January 1, 1992 shall promulgate, or create, rules and regulations authorizing physicians licensed to practice in this state to prescribe marijuana.

The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) says it has done that.

"We do have a law goes back to 1991 where the legislature attempted to set up a scheme to do that, however that scheme has never been fully enacted," said Dumaine. But DHH disagrees saying they have complied with the law.

Dobbins' client recently moved back to Louisiana from California with his marijuana prescription, and his attorney says "they can contact this doctor in California. He has a web site a phone number, there's a certification number with the state of California so I think at this time we'll be able to do some things to help him."

Attorney Dobbins will be in District Court Thursday to fight the charges.

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