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We've collected a stories about the 2015 Louisiana Legislative Session. What new bill is coming up for a vote? How are lawmakers doing in protecting higher education and health care from cuts? What other initiatives are in the works for Louisiana? Find them here.

House To Hear Bill Proposing Legalization Of Medical Marijuana

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The House Health and Welfare committee is expected to hear legislation today that would allow medical marijuana to be used as a legal treatment for persons with autism. Louisiana Mothers Advocating for Medical Marijuana spokesperson Katelyn Castleberry says her two sons suffer from autism and they need better options made available for treatment.

 

Castleberry says the FDA "only approves two drugs for autism." She says that the drugs carry side effects like "seizures, tremors, and suicide." 

 

Castleberry says even though marijuana has been used as a recreational drug for years, the medical benefits outweigh the stigma attached to it. Studies have shown that medical cannabis is quite effective for autism.

 

According to Castleberry, "Behaviors like aggression and self injury decrease." She says, "Some children who are non-verbal learn to speak."  

 

A major difference between medical and recreational marijuana is the medicinal type don’t give patients a euphoric high. Castleberry says studies have found that medical cannabis could also help other medical conditions.

 

Castleberry says, "Medical marijuana has compounds in it that react with receptors all over the entire nervous system. This has a subduing aspect on the nervous system."

 

Medical cannabis is expected to be available later this year for patients who have certain illnesses.