Marijuana or Cannabis is a drug with various uses. It is a vital component of the fabric industry, used to build strengthened fabric. Also, it helps create and formulate medicines in different forms, such as gummies, tablets, creams, etc. However, the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is strictly prohibited in Louisiana.
While there are debates in many circles about the potential consequences of legalization of marijuana, the laws in Louisiana are an amalgamation of prohibitory measures and regulatory norms. Let us take a look at some Louisiana laws to understand to what extent marijuana is legal in Louisiana.
Is Marijuana Legal in Louisiana?
Unlike the 16 US states, which include the District of Columbia, that have decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana, consumption of marijuana for other than medical reasons is prohibited in Louisiana. It is criminalized in Louisiana, and law enforcement agencies can arrest you for possessing, distributing, or using marijuana in public places or while driving.
However, it is legalized for medical use. You can obtain and use marijuana with the authentication that you will utilize it for medical purposes. For this, you need to become an approved medical marijuana patient and get your name added to the statewide medical cannabis patient registry by providing a physician's prescription (certified by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners).
Laws Related to Marijuana in Louisiana
There are several laws related to the use and procurement of Marijuana in Louisiana, which are mentioned bel
You Can Smoke Marijuana With a Prescription - A recent development in the Louisiana marijuana laws is that you can obtain marijuana in its smokable form if you possess a valid prescription or recommendation for health purposes. Earlier, physicians could only prescribe marijuana to patients through gummies or creams. Consequently, you can obtain marijuana in its smokable form from a licensed pharmacy if you have a valid prescription from a physician.
You Cannot Smoke and Drive- Driving after or while smoking marijuana is illegal in Louisiana under the Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) law. To strengthen this, the new law under La. R.S. 32:300.4.1 allows police officers to arrest a driver or a passenger of a motor vehicle that is being operated on a public highway or right-of-way who is stopped for another offense and is found to be smoking or vaping any form of marijuana.
Some other common acts and laws about the use of marijuana in Louisiana are as mentioned below,
1978 La Acts No. 725- The original act which legalized the medicinal use of marijuana.
1991 La. Acts No. 874- The second try to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
2015 La. Acts No. 261- The act that succeeded in becoming a law.
2016 La Acts No. 567- Demands a license fee from the marijuana growers.
2019 La Acts No. 284- Permits the use of marijuana inhalers.
2019 La. Acts No. 331- Imposes a tax on the use of medical marijuana at 7%.
2021 La. Acts No. 424- Prohibits the distribution of raw or crude marijuana to people over 21.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession
Marijuana possession or distribution can lead to the following penalties,
Possession of 14 grams or less of marijuana (when caught for the first time) leads to a fine of $100.
Possession of more than 14 grams of marijuana (when caught for the first time) corresponds to 0-6 months in jail and/or a fine of no more than $500.
Possession of 14 grams or more of marijuana (when caught for the second time) corresponds to 0-6 months in jail and/or a fine of no more than $1000.
Possession of more than 14 grams of marijuana (when caught for the third time) corresponds to 0-2 years in jail and/or a fine of no more than $2500.
Possession of marijuana (4th offense of quantity more than 14 grams) corresponds to 0-8 years in jail and/ or a fine of no more than $5000.
Possession of 2.5 pounds or more of marijuana is considered PWID Marijuana
Distribution, manufacture, or possession of less than 2.5 pounds of marijuana can result in a conviction of 1-10 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
Distribution, manufacture, or possession of more than 2.5 pounds of marijuana can result in a conviction of 1-20 years of jail and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
The Louisiana Legislature is filled with conservative lawmakers who are opposed to the idea of decriminalizing the use of marijuana in Louisiana. Proponents of marijuana are still hopeful that the Louisiana State will soon pass decriminalization laws as the other 16 US states did.
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This information has been provided for informational purposes, is not intended, and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult your attorney regarding any specific situation under Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may affect your legal rights.