BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Things could be changing for state employees who have a doctor’s approval for use of medical marijuana.

House Bill 988 proposes that state employees shouldn’t receive negative employment consequences.

For five years, Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Louisiana. As of now, there’s no protection for employees who are prescribed medical marijuana – House Bill 988 may change that.

The bill’s author, House Rep. Mandie Laundry explained, “This bill provides employment discrimination protections. It basically means that they can’t be precluded from employment or fired just for having a medical marijuana prescription.”

This bill will not apply to first responders or those in the medical field.

Rep. Laundry said there are still some things they’re figuring out, adding, “In certain situations, you need to make sure that they definitely are not ingesting medical marijuana while they’re at work. On the other hand, if people are doing so on the weekends, that’s their right.”

Laundry believes this bill can help with Louisiana’s opioid problem.

“Opioids have such a bad rate of addiction and we have had such problems in this state with opioids. But this will provide people with chronic pain, with long term illness,” Laundry said. “There’s a lot of veterans who reached out with PTSD and other issues.”

Laundry said the goal is to protect everyone that has a prescription for medical marijuana. She believes that House Bill 988 is moving Louisiana in the right direction.

The bill has been sent to the Governor’s Desk.

As of Thursday evening, the Governor’s office responded with no comment.

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