SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Lake Charles is getting its first medical marijuana pharmacy.
One local veteran is hopeful this could be the start of improving his health and that of other veterans, but right now there's a catch.
Under Louisiana law, those with certain serious conditions can get a prescription for medical marijuana, but veteran Tony Landry has been monitoring a proposed bill that could add post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain to the list.
Nine medical marijuana licenses were handed out to pharmacies across the state this week, one of those going to Medicis in Lake Charles.
While some on social media say this could be a bad move, local veteran Tony Landry see's the opposite.
"I think it's a wonderful thing," said Landry.
Landry is part of the Louisiana Veterans for Medical Cannabis and believes these medical marijuana pharmacies can really help veterans.
"Veterans don't want all these harder pharmaceutical drugs," he said. "They would like to try something that's not as addictive."
Landry used prescription opioids to fight his chronic back pain after serving in the Navy. He switched over to using a cannabis oil and noticed the changes.
"After I started taking the CBD for about two weeks I noticed wow I'm not taking all these aspirins anymore," he said.
Louisiana law only allows those with certain conditions like cancer, epilepsy, seizure disorder, and Chron's Disease to receive a prescription from a doctor, with the drug only available in non-smokable forms.
But a proposed bill could add those with PTSD, chronic pain, and even Parkinson's Disease to that list.
Representative Edward James sponsored the bill that was passed by the House last week and is now awaiting further approval.
While Landry will continue to make the drive to Baton Rouge to promote the bill he's hopeful for more growth for our state when it comes to medical marijuana.
"The cannabis industry is already here," he said. "It's not being taxed, it's not being regulated, it's making our children more dangerous. Once you put it into a pharmacy, and you have to show an ID to go get it, it's going to be safer for folks."
Landry obtained a scholarship that will allow him to head to Washington D.C. next month to attend a unity conference with Americans for Safe Access.
He plans to march with other veterans supporting medical marijuana there as well.