With the fifth highest arrests rate in the country for marijuana crimes, residents of this state should familiarize themselves with the local laws. A medical marijuana law has been signed into law but is not yet operational.
Marijuana use is allowed for medical purposes in Louisiana, but any other possession, distribution, and cultivation is illegal. Weight limits for possession are unusually high.
It is an unclassified criminal offense in Louisiana to possess any amount of marijuana less than 60 pounds. The maximum penalty on a first offense is 15 days in jail and $300 in fines when the amount is less than 14 grams. For first-time offenders possessing between 14 grams and 2.5 pounds, the maximum penalty is six months in jail and $500 in fines.
When the amount possessed is between 2.5 pounds and 60 pounds, the punishment includes a mandatory minimum of two years in prison, a maximum of 10, and fines of up to $30,000.
Any possession of more than 60 pounds of cannabis is a felony. For amounts of between 60 and 2,000 pounds, the mandatory minimum is five years, the maximum possible sentence is 30 years, and a top fine of $100,000 applies.
Possession of between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 40, and fines of up to $400,000. And finally, when the amount exceeds 10,000 pounds, the penalty includes a mandatory minimum of 25 years, a maximum sentence of 40 years, and fines of no more than $1,000,000.
Distribution and Cultivation
It is an unclassified offense to distribute any amount of marijuana, grow it, or possess it with intent to distribute it. On a first offense, there is a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 30, plus a top $50,000 fine. On a subsequent conviction, the penalty is at least 10 years in prison and as many as 60, plus up to $100,000 in fines.
It is also an unclassified offense under Louisiana law to give or sell marijuana to a minor, a crime punishable by at least five years in prison and as many as 45, plus $100,000 in fines. On a subsequent offense, the minimum prison term is ten years, the maximum is 90 years, and a fine of $200,000 is possible.
Hash and Concentrates
Hashish, hash oil, and other marijuana concentrates are treated the same as marijuana flower. That means the same weight limits and penalties apply.
The possession and use of marijuana paraphernalia in Louisiana is a crime. It is also illegal to distribute paraphernalia or to possess or display it with intent to distribute it. Paraphernalia includes items used in the cultivating, harvesting, storing, testing and consumption of marijuana. Penalties vary according to whether it is the first or subsequent offense.
- First conviction. Penalties include up to 15 days in jail, a fine of up to $300, or both.
- Second conviction. Penalties include up to six months in jail, and $1,000 in fines.
- Third and subsequent conviction. Penalties include up to two years in prison, and $2,500 in fines.
Louisiana signed a medical marijuana bill into law in 2016, although the program is not yet operational. The law will only allow non-smokeable forms of marijuana.
Qualifying conditions –
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Intractable pain (defined as “pain so chronic or severe as to otherwise warrant an opiate prescription”)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Seizure disorders/spasticity
- Severe muscle spasms
Patient possession limits – 30-day supply of non-smokeable marijuana
Home cultivation – No. Medical cannabis will be cultivated by two companies selected by the LSU and Southern University agricultural centers.
State-licensed dispensaries – Not yet
Caregivers – No
Reciprocity – No
|14 g or less (first offense)||Not Classified||15 days||$ 300|
|More than 14 g – less than 2.5 lbs (first offense)||Not Classified||6 months||$ 500|
|2.5 – less than 60 lbs||Not Classified||2* – 10 years||$ 30,000|
|60 – less than 2000 lbs||Felony||5* – 30 years||$ 100,000|
|2000 – less than 10,000 lbs||Felony||10* – 40 years||$ 400,000|
|10,000 lbs or more||Felony||25* – 40 years||$ 1,000,000|
|First and second offenders may be eligible for probation.|
|* Mandatory minimum sentence|
Distribution or Cultivation of Marijuana
|Any amount (first offense)||Not Classified||5* – 30 years||$ 50,000|
|Any amount (subsequent offense)||Not Classified||10* – 60 years||$ 100,000|
|To a minor (first offense)||Not Classified||5* – 45 years||$ 100,000|
|To a minor (subsequent offense)||Not Classified||10* – 90 years||$ 200,000|
|Includes possession with intent to distribute|
|* Mandatory minimum sentence|
Hash & Concentrates
|Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.|
|Possession, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana within 2000 feet of a drug free zone is punishable by 1.5 times the maximum sentence.|
|Conviction of any crime involving controlled substances results in denial of driving privileges for not less than 30 days but not more than 1 year.|