Is cannabis legal in Louisiana, United States?

Is Cannabis Legal in Louisiana, United States?

In Louisiana, the use and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes remain illegal. However, the state has a medical marijuana program in place for patients with specific qualifying conditions. In 2015, Louisiana enacted Senate Bill 143, which created a comprehensive medical marijuana framework. While the state has taken steps to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, penalties still exist for those who do not comply with the law.

What is the Public Opinion on Cannabis in Louisiana?

Public opinion on cannabis in Louisiana has been gradually shifting in favor of legalization. According to a 2020 Louisiana State University survey, 67% of residents support legalizing marijuana for recreational use. This indicates a significant change in attitudes compared to previous years, as more people recognize the potential benefits of cannabis, such as tax revenue and reduced criminal justice costs.

What are the Penalties and Enforcement for Cannabis in Louisiana?

Despite the growing support for cannabis legalization, penalties for possession, distribution, and cultivation remain in place. The enforcement of these penalties varies by jurisdiction and can include:

  • First-time possession of 14 grams or less: a fine of up to $100 and no jail time (decriminalized).
  • Possession of more than 14 grams: fines and incarceration, with penalties increasing based on the amount possessed.
  • Distribution and cultivation: felony charges with the possibility of significant fines and lengthy prison sentences.

It is important to note that even if a person has a medical marijuana card from another state, they are not exempt from these penalties in Louisiana.

What is Cannabis Called in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, cannabis is commonly referred to as marijuana, weed, pot, or reefer. The medical marijuana program in the state is often referred to as the Therapeutic Marijuana Program.

Is CBD Legal in Louisiana?

Yes, CBD (cannabidiol) derived from hemp is legal in Louisiana. In 2019, the state passed House Bill 491, which aligned Louisiana’s hemp and CBD laws with the federal 2018 Farm Bill. This legislation legalized the production, sale, and possession of hemp-derived CBD products containing no more than 0.3% THC. However, it is essential to ensure that any CBD products purchased in Louisiana meet these requirements.

What is the Status of Medical Cannabis Use in Louisiana?

Medical cannabis is legal in Louisiana for patients with specific qualifying conditions. To participate in the state’s medical marijuana program, patients must:

  • Have a qualifying medical condition, such as cancer, epilepsy, or chronic pain.
  • Obtain a recommendation from a Louisiana-licensed physician.
  • Receive medical cannabis from one of the state-licensed dispensaries.

It is important to note that medical cannabis in Louisiana is only available in non-smokable forms, such as oils, tinctures, and capsules.

Can I Grow Marijuana in Louisiana?

No, cultivating marijuana for personal or medical use is illegal in Louisiana. Only licensed growers can cultivate marijuana for the state’s medical marijuana program, and any unauthorized cultivation can result in severe penalties, including felony charges and imprisonment.

What are Some Helpful Links, Government Laws, and Resources in Louisiana?

  • Senate Bill 143 (2015): Louisiana’s medical marijuana legislation.
  • House Bill 491 (2019): Louisiana’s hemp and CBD legislation.
  • Louisiana Department of Health – Therapeutic Marijuana Program: Information on the state’s medical marijuana program, including qualifying conditions and physician requirements.
  • NORML – Louisiana Laws & Penalties: A summary of Louisiana’s marijuana laws and penalties.

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