MADISONVILLE, La. - For the first patient at Willow Pharmacy, an eyedropper of liquid under the tongue was worth the 41 year wait.
In 1978, former state senator Tony Guarisco authored the bill that set in motion Louisiana's acceptance of medical marijuana. All these years later, after the most recent legislative session allowed state-approved pharmacies to dispense it, Guarisco felt vindicated.
"It's great to go from pariah to respect," said Guarisco, "a lot of people are going to get relief that have suffered for many years."
Guarisco suffers from glaucoma.
The first batch of medical marijuana passed the final test conducted last week by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture.
The medical marijuana was produced by the public-private partnership of LSU and GB Sciences of Louisiana, LLC.
A "random sample" of the LSU-GBSL product was tested to ensure "homogenity, potency, and (a lack of) contaminants."
State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain announced that the sample "passed all testing and is cleared for immediate release to the medical marijuana pharmacies."
Doctors' patients with recommendations for medical marijuana can go to one of nine pharmacies across the state that have been approved to dispense it.
A list of the pharmacies is here.