We get asked about legal marijuana in Louisiana. In 2016, the Louisiana legislature took steps to legalize medical marijuana, yet no legal marijuana has been dispensed in the state. Part of the reason is the plan to provide it. The state licensed a limited number of pharmacies to distribute the product; however, the actual marijuana was set to be grown by only two producers. To date, no marijuana has been released for sale or sold.
This is not the first time Louisiana has tried this experiment. In the late 1980s, Louisiana was one of the first states to legalize marijuana. The problem then (and to some extent now) was regulation and implementation. Back then, it was approved for a limited number of medical conditions. The problem was state agencies were supposed to implement the regulations to put the plan into action. They never did. As a result, the issue sat in legal limbo. The same thing is happening now.
On the federal front, marijuana is still illegal. The Trump administration legalized the growing of hemp as part of a farm bill. It is ironic that there is really no difference between marijuana and hemp. They are the same plant. The distinction is that hemp is defined as a type of plant with a low level of THC B–the active ingredient that gives the “high.”
It’s important to remember that police will still arrest you for possessing marijuana. Louisiana does not distinguish between hemp and marijuana, so police will not buy the argument that you are intending to grow hemp.
Despite the national trend to take marijuana less seriously, possession of more marijuana than is considered for personal use is a felony. Getting arrested more than once for simple possession is also a felony. Even possession of a medical marijuana card from California or the excuse that you “bought the stuff legally in Colorado” will not get you out of the arrest or conviction.
Check out the articles below for more details on local and national trends in this area.
Written by: Greg Gouner