Louisiana Marijuana Laws

State lawmakers have advanced a pair of bills to the Governor’s desk amending the state’s marijuana laws.

House Bill 165 amends state law so that the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia is reclassified to a non-criminal fine-only offense. If enacted, first-time offenders will face a maximum penalty of a $100 fine. Under current law, the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.

House Bill 391 permits first-time marijuana possession offenders to be eligible for expeditious pardon relief from the Governor.

Both bills await action from Republican Gov. Jeff Landry legislation. If the Governor fails to take action on the bills within ten days of them being transmitted, they will automatically become law.

Governor Landry previously signed legislation (SB 228) into law privatizing the commercial cultivation of medical cannabis. Two public universities had previously held the exclusive rights to grow cannabis for the state’s medical program. Nearly 40,000 Louisianans are registered with the state to access medicinal cannabis products.

The state’s prior Governor, Democrat John Bel Edwards, signed several bills in recent years liberalizing the state’s marijuana laws — including legislation removing the threat of jail time for low-level marijuana possession offenses, barring police from conducting a warrantless searches of persons’ places of residence based solely upon the odor of cannabis, protecting qualified patients from discrimination in the workplace, and facilitating expungement relief for those with certain marijuana-related convictions.

Additional information on pending legislation is available from NORML’s Take Action Center.

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