Today, following recent actions taken by Department of Justice (DOJ), Gov. John Bel Edwards sent a letter to President Donald Trump expressing his willingness to partner with the Trump administration in protecting Louisiana and other states that have put provisions in place to regulate the use of medical marijuana treatment for those with severe medical needs.

“Mr. President, for many people in my state, access to this treatment means a person could return to the workforce, return to school or simply lead a normal life,” wrote Gov. Edwards. “We would be failing the people we represent if we allow any funding bill to move through Congress without the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer language included. This issue is critically important in Louisiana, and I hope we can partner together to ensure the safe distribution of this life-changing form of treatment.”

Recent polling in Louisiana indicates that there is broad support for the availability of medical marijuana treatment for those in need and the 2016 law authorizing the regulation of medical marijuana signed by Gov. Edwards passed with bipartisan support.

Under current law, a bipartisan amendment by Representatives Dana Rohrabacher and Earl Blumenauer prevents the federal government from expending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. This language is included in the Continuing Resolution that is currently funding federal operations. However, with that funding mechanism expiring on January 19, 2018, state actors and state-sanctioned agents are exposed to potential federal criminal liability, despite their adherence to state law which was approved by our full legislature and signed into law.