BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana, but some veterans gathered at the Louisana State Capitol Monday asking for a better system.

“It’s been a lifesaver for me,” said Joshua Moffett, a former army ranger specialist and owner of Accurate Empathy Counseling.

Moffett explained how medical marijuana helped him heal the trauma he suffered from serving his country and kept him from following a darker path.

“I could have gone on other drugs and things like that” Moffett said. “Whenever I got out of the army, I actually was dealing with nightmares, I couldn’t feel the fullest extent of like my emotions, and whenever I was got involved with plant medicine and it actually allowed me to experience full range, catharsis, get emotions off my back, it was very therapeutic.”

There are at least four marijuana bills introduced for the 2022 legislative session:

  • HB425 MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Provides relative to the number of marijuana pharmacies in the state.
  • HB629 CRIMINAL/PROCEDURE: Provides relative to a search without a warrant of a person’s place of residence for the odor of marijuana.
  • HB774 CRIMINAL/RECORDS: Provides relative to expungements for certain amounts of possession of marijuana.
  • HB127 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES: Provides relative to immunity from prosecution for medical marijuana.

Tony Landry, the founder of Louisiana Veterans for Medical Cannabis, wants to see the bills get passed and make medical marijuana more accessible to everyone.

“There is some limited expansion to the medical marijuana program, we are happy to see, we are going to hope to add to those bills and amend them to help veterans even more,” Landry said.

Moffett said the other states are far ahead of Louisiana in medical cannabis.

“We are definitely behind in the times,” Moffett said.” I mean, we need to do more for ourselves, more for our veterans, more for people that are suffering from addiction, and more that are suffering from mental health in general.”

Representative Jean-Paul Coussan of Dist. 45 sponsored the rally. Nicole Angers, his legislative assistant, emailed a statement from the legislator.

“He wanted me to tell you that he did sponsor their rally as a way to recognize and honor their service beyond saying thank you. And, veteran’s health care is an important matter both in federal and state government and we intend to give veterans every opportunity to express themselves on ways to improve outcomes.”

Legislative Assistant, Nicole Angers, Rep. Coussan office.

Landry says the best way to support Louisiana’s veterans is to reach out to your local legislators.

“If you are listening out there, we could really use your support and email to a legislator goes a long way,” Landry said.