By Steve Elliott
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said on Wednesday that he supports making medical marijuana available in Louisiana, as long as it is tightly controlled.
"I continue to be opposed to the legalization of marijuana," Jindal said during an event at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, reports the Associated Press. "When it comes to medical marijuana ... if there is a legitimate medical need, I'd certainly be open to making it available under very strict supervision for patients that would benefit from that."
Jindal said that to be acceptable to him, a proposal would have to put marijuana use under a doctor's care and that the program would have to be closely monitored to prevent abuse.
Medical marijuana advocates were happy that Jindal said he had an open mind on the issue.
"That's huge," said Marjorie Esman, executive director for the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. While Louisiana has a 1991 law on the books allowing medical marijuana, Esman said the law is unworkable, making it impossible for patients to actually get cannabis.
The 1991 law calls for patients with glaucoma, chemotherapy and spastic quadriplegia to receive marijuana for therapeutic use. The bill depended on Louisiana's secretary of health and hospitals devising rules and regulations by January 1, 1992; apparently those rules were never written.