Louisiana Marijuana Laws
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In 2015, Louisiana passed a law permitting the use of medical marijuana, and in 2022, the state broadened the program, raising the amount individuals can possess and making specific cannabis products more accessible.

Regrettably, individuals using marijuana for recreational purposes cannot celebrate their current circumstances. The state still prohibits the recreational use of marijuana, and even minor violations can lead to fines and brief imprisonment.

Continue reading to discover the cannabis regulations in Louisiana, along with legally available alternatives to recreational marijuana on a federal level.


Historical Context

For decades, Louisiana maintained strict prohibitionist policies towards marijuana, treating possession, distribution, and cultivation as serious criminal offenses. However, the public perception of cannabis has undergone a transformation in recent years, leading to the gradual relaxation of marijuana laws in the state.


In Louisiana, the use of weed is permitted solely for those holding a medical marijuana card. The state has implemented a program catering to individuals with specific health conditions that qualify them for medical marijuana access. For comprehensive information regarding the usage of medical and recreational marijuana in Louisiana, read on.

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, it is against the law to use marijuana for recreational purposes. If caught, you may face penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The severity of these consequences will be determined by the quantity of marijuana involved and the reason for its use, whether for personal consumption or distribution.


Yes, Louisiana established a medical marijuana program in 2015. Initially, the legislation allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis, which violated federal law, as marijuana is classified as a Schedule I =substance at the federal level. Subsequently, doctors were permitted to recommend marijuana instead of prescribing it, and in 2016, the bill underwent amendments to fix the language, safeguard patients legally, and broaden the range of qualifying conditions.

The year 2020 brought positive developments for medical marijuana in Louisiana. Doctors were granted the authority to recommend medical marijuana for any condition they consider necessary, but only if they are qualified to treat that particular ailment.

In 2022, Louisiana raised the purchase limits for medical marijuana patients to 2.5 ounces of flowers every two weeks from their pharmacist.

Pharmacies in Louisiana offer a variety of cannabis products, including oils, extracts, sprays, capsules, lotions, gels, chewables, suppositories, and transdermal patches.


Penalties for Marijuana Possession

As previously mentioned, Louisiana prohibits the recreational use of marijuana. If you are found with weed, the following consequences may occur:

Possession of 14 grams or less for first-time offenders could result in a $300 fine and a 15-day prison sentence.

First-time offenders caught with larger amounts may face a $500 fine and up to six months in prison.

Second convictions carry more severe penalties. Possession of less than 2.5 pounds may lead to a $1,000 fine and a maximum of two years in prison.

A third conviction for possessing fewer than 2.5 pounds increases the fine to $2,500 and up to two years in prison. Larger amounts incur more substantial fines and longer sentences.

Possession of any quantity of marijuana with intent to sell or distribute could result in a 30-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $50,000.

A second offense of selling weed may lead to 60 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. The most severe penalties apply to selling marijuana to minors.


Is Weed Decriminalized in Louisiana?

No, small amounts of cannabis have not been decriminalized in Louisiana. Nonetheless, in 2016, New Orleans approved a regulation that decriminalized marijuana. As a result of this legislation, there was a significant reduction in marijuana-related arrests within the city.



Public Opinion and Advocacy

Public opinion in Louisiana has seen a shift regarding marijuana legalization, mirroring trends observed in other states. A growing number of citizens now support the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana, viewing it as a potential source of tax revenue and a means to address social justice issues related to drug enforcement.

Advocacy groups within the state continue to work towards cannabis reform, urging policymakers to reconsider their approach to marijuana laws. These groups highlight the potential benefits of legalization, including economic growth, job creation, and criminal justice reform.


What’s the Future of Cannabis Legalization in Louisiana?

Despite the willingness of Louisiana inhabitants to support the legalization of recreational cannabis, lawmakers do not consider it a top concern.

Prior to initiating a public debate on the matter, activists called for an investigation into the effects of cannabis legalization, but their efforts were unsuccessful.




Who can use medical marijuana in Louisiana?

After Act 286 was passed in Louisiana in 2020, all restrictions were eliminated from the list of qualifying conditions.

According to the new law, any medical professional who has been granted a license by the State Board of Medical Examiners may suggest medical marijuana if they believe their patients might benefit from doing so.


Can you grow weed in Louisiana?

No. Patients in Louisiana who use medical marijuana are not permitted to produce their own cannabis plants. They have to purchase their medication from one of the nine dispensaries with state licenses.


Can you smoke marijuana in public?

Louisiana state law does not specifically address public medical marijuana use regulations, hence the practice is still illegal. If you must smoke marijuana in order to take your medication in case your symptoms increase, then you shouldn’t do so in locations where smoking or vaping tobacco is prohibited.
Can you travel with marijuana in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, it is legal to carry around marijuana, but only if you have a valid medicinal marijuana card. Additionally, you need to keep your medication out of the driver’s reach and in a closed container.


Must Read: How To Get A Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card?



Cannabis lovers may not find Louisiana to be the most appealing state. For medical marijuana users, there is a permissive program in place, but recreational use is still prohibited and subject to severe penalties.

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

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