Louisiana Marijuana Laws

Make no mistake about it, Louisiana has had some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country with the prospect of facing hard labor for certain convictions. While some other states have taken the lead and experimented with marijuana legalization and decriminalization, marijuana remains largely banned in Louisiana. Though the Legislature legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 1991, the law wasn't workable due to the lack of a legal framework.

However, after several years of legislative wrangling and unpassed bills, lawmakers finally passed a law in 2017 establishing protections for patients and caregivers, procedures, and other legal mechanisms for the medical use of cannabis in Louisiana. The law doesn't allow home cultivation of the herb, but authorizes the establishment of up to 10 licensed pharmacies for the procurement of medical cannabis.

Louisiana Marijuana Laws: Overview

Drug laws can differ from state to state and that’s especially true when it comes to marijuana laws. It can be time-consuming to have to sift through dense legal terminology used in statutes, which is why we have provided a helpful, summarized version of Louisiana's marijuana laws in the chart below.

Statute(s)
  • Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 40, Section 966 (Possession of Marijuana)
  • Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 40, Section 1046, et seq. (Theraputic Use of Marijuana)
Possession Penalties
  • Up to 14g: Up to 15 days in parish jail and/or up to $300 in fines (first conviction)
  • Over 14g: Up to 6 months in parish jail and/or up to $500 in fines (first conviction)
  • 2.5 lbs to 60 lbs: 2-10 years in prison (with or without hard labor) and between $10,000 and $30,000 in fines
  • 60 lbs to 2,000 lbs.: 5-30 years in prison (with hard labor) and between $50,000 and $100,000 in fines
  • 2,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs.: 10-40 years in prison (with hard labor) and between $100,000 and $400,000 in fines
  • Over 10,000 lbs.: 25-40 years in prison (with hard labor) and between $400,000 and $1 million in fines
Immunity From Prosecution

Certain individuals are immune from prosecution for possession of Marijuana, including:

  • Patients in state-sponsored medical marijuana programs
  • Anyone who lawfully possesses medical marijuana
  • Certain caregivers as defined in Section 1503
  • Any person who is a domiciliary parent of a minor child that lawfully possesses medical marijuana on that child's behalf
Related Statutes Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 40, Section 961, et seq. (Uniformed Controlled Dangerous Substances Law)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Louisiana Marijuana Laws and Federal Law

No matter what a state’s marijuana laws says, marijuana sale and possession is illegal under the Controlled Substance Act. Where federal and state law clash, federal law always trumps. To date, federal law enforcement agencies haven’t shown an interest prosecuting minor marijuana cases in Colorado and Washington, where recreational use is permitted. But that doesn’t mean the federal government has given up on enforcing restrictions on everything from the manufacturing and cultivation to the trafficking and distribution, as well as the possession of marijuana.

Louisiana Marijuana Laws: Related Resources

Facing Marijuana Charges in Louisiana? Get Professional Help Today

State drug laws can change frequently, and their enforcement can vary depending on your specific circumstances. If you need legal assistance with a drug case, it's essential to have a professional in your corner -- as early as possible. Reach out to a Louisiana criminal defense attorney today to start protecting your rights and building your defense.

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