On Wednesday, May 19th, the Louisiana Senate is set to debate HB514. It would tax, for the first time since 2003, a medicine. The state Constitution unambiguously forbids a sales tax on prescription drugs. Proponents of this regressive and indefensible tax on medical Cannabis flower argue that this form of the medicine is somehow different from the other forms (currently exempt from the tax) and “technically” isn’t a “prescription drug.”  Riddle me this, Tanner and friends: How is it that the item in question requires an order from a licensed Louisiana physician, the order for it can only be filled by a licensed Louisiana pharmacist, and the item has the same pharmacological and therapeutic qualities and effects of any other useful drug, but is “technically” not a “prescription drug.”  Sounds a little to a lot like maybe trying to have it both ways, doesn’t it?  

Sadly, the effect of so doing will torture the Constitution, keep medical Cannabis out of reach of average or poorer citizens, serve to undermine the legitimacy of and weaken protections for medicinal Cannabis in our state, sickeningly select for and advantage opioids and opiates like Oxycontin to the detriment of medicinal Cannabis and our patients who prefer it, and perversely protects the insidious business model of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association which profits mightily off of locking up nonviolent Cannabis offenders.  You know what else it’s going to do?  Invite litigation over the constitutionality of the provisions of HB514.  Thus, I ask, please join me in opposing HB514 and ask your Senators to do the same.  Find ’em here: https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx  

We need the flower – we can do without the tax!  

It’s the better medicine – let’s not pretend it’s not.

No surcharge on suffering!  

Tax recreational not medicinal!  

With flower we flourish, without it we wither.