Louisiana is becoming the first Deep South state to dispense medical marijuana on Tuesday, four years after state lawmakers agreed to give patients access to therapeutic cannabis.

Nine pharmacies are licensed to dispense medical marijuana across Louisiana and most are expected to open this week.

Louisiana joins more than 30 other states that allow medical marijuana in some form.

And though marijuana is banned at the federal level, a congressional amendment blocks the Justice Department from interfering with states' medical marijuana programs.

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Melinda Deslatte ~ Associated Press via Yahoo.com

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