Baton Rouge- As the qualifying period closed for candidates to be on the ballot this fall an interesting race was shaping up in an unexpected place. The race for Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry hasn’t traditionally been a contentious one, but 2019 may be different. By the end of the Day on Thursday, August 8th five candidates had put their name in for Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry. Only one was running with a platform of fully legalizing cannabis and fighting climate change.
Marguerite Green, a Democrat from south Louisiana, is running on a platform she calls ‘Food, Farms, Climate and Cannabis.’ The presence of cannabis in her platform is made more notable by the sudden appearance of medical marijuana on the shelves of Louisiana dispensaries on August 6th, the first day of the qualifying period. The product has been long-awaited by patients in the state, and Green doesn’t think the timing is a coincidence.
“I’m just glad patients are finally getting their medicine. Cannabis is a necessary treatment for many people, and it shouldn’t have been leveraged like that.”
Green says that Louisiana is ready for full legality of cannabis for adult. Based on an LSU Public Policy Research Lab poll from this April 55 percent of residents indicated support for the policy. Her platform also incorporates auto-expungement for prior offenses.
Green’s platform also targets climate change, which she says is the greatest threat to our state. According to the Environmental Protection Agency during the next few decades, hotter summers are likely to reduce crop yields. Intensifying drought and storms are predicted to affect life in Louisiana and land loss coupled with sea-level rise will erode more of the coastline.
“If we don’t act fast and slow Climate Change, we won’t just lose crops; we’ll lose Louisiana.”