Louisiana governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal signed a bill that will provide all residents of Louisiana access to medical marijuana. Senate Bill 143 will allow people suffering from cancer, glaucoma and a severe form of cerebral palsy to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

This now makes Louisiana the first state in the south to make the drug accessible to its residents for medical use, including the District of Columbia and 23 other states. Louisiana has been a state with harsh marijuana laws, that is slowly changing as well. The governor also signed a law reducing second-time pot possession charge to a misdemeanor from a felony. The law also allows first-time offenders to strike out their conviction after two years if they do not possess marijuana again.

The Washington Times reports though that it would take at least two years before the drug can be obtained by those with medical prescription following the extensive regulatory process to select and supervise a state-authorised grower as well as 10 licensed distributors. Jindal is now the latest Republican presidential candidate to espouse a drug policy reform.

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