BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It generated a bit of heat and a bit of smoke, but now the issue of medical marijuana is over for this legislative session. A committee voted 6 to 2 to kill it. They did so over the objections of people like LSU student Jacob Irving who said marijuana would help him deal with the excruciating pain caused by a muscle control disorder.
"Although it might not happen this year, I felt like it was worthwhile. We made progress and I think that we will come back next year and come back even stronger. Eventually, we are going to break down this stigma that we have right now and we are going to get sick people the treatment that they deserved," said Irving.
The Louisiana Sheriffs' Association came out strong against the bill. Its president Michael Ranatza said he agrees with the no vote for the moment. Ranatza added that his association wants the federal government to speed up its research on medical marijuana before changing any laws in Louisiana.
Irving said the committee's decision was heartbreaking but it doesn't even come close to the amount of pain he endures daily with his condition.
A senior with one semester left, he said he isn't confident he will be staying in Louisiana after graduation.
"I am going to decide whether Louisiana can be a place where I can have a happy healthy life. Things like this bill would have made a difference, but unfortunately that's not the case," said Irving. The bill failed within the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
It was authored byState Sen. Fred Mills Jr of New Iberia.