LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Tony Landry is a veteran well-known locally for his efforts to change laws limiting the use of medical cannabis.
The effort was successful, but Landry is moving to Arizona where the medical marijuana program is much further along.
Landry worked hard to persuade the legislature to expand the medical cannabis law to include several ailments including chronic pain from which he suffers.
"Chronic pain can lead to insomnia, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and all sorts of other ailments and the cannabis just calms your muscle spasms down and can enable you to deal with the pain," said Landry.
Landry founded Louisiana Veterans for Medical Cannabis which he says is safer than treatments such as opioids.
"All the addictions and the problems that come along with it. And course when those meds stop working. And after a while, they will stop working as your body builds a tolerance to it. And the only thing left in Louisiana to do legally is alcohol," said Landry.
Landry and others were successful in getting the law changed but he expects it to take a while to get it up and running.
So, Landry and his wife are headed to Arizona where he can get medical marijuana now.
"Medical marijuana has been legal in Arizona since 2010 so their program is up and running. And I recently went to Arizona and acquired my medical marijuana card with a medical marijuana doctor. I was able to receive my card and actually go to a pharmacy to receive cannabis," he said.
Landry hopes to return to Louisiana.
"I'm looking for it just to be a short stay in Arizona; a couple years, two or three years. And I hope to return to my home state."
By then, he hopes medical marijuana will be readily accessible to those who need it.
LSU Ag Center says it will likely be mid-October before the medicinal pot is ready for pharmacies. Landry says he will continue helping Louisiana advocates for medical cannabis.