New Orleans, Louisiana Cannabis (2019 Update)

In Louisiana, US cannabis has been legal for medical use since 1982.

However, weed remains illegal for recreational use throughout the state.

1st time possession of weed remains a criminal offense but was decriminalized statewide in 2005 to a $300USD fine and/or 30 days in jail.

Possession of weed has also been decriminalized in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Despite this law, in 1930 there were only 30 marijuana convictions in the entire state.[

Sources give varying dates for the prohibition of cannabis in Louisiana, either 1939 or 1947.

On 30 June 2015, Governor Jindal signed SB143, reducing penalties for weed possession.

Under the bill, 1st time possession is punishable by a $550USD fine and 32days in jail, a second offense by up to a $2,090USD fine and 6 months in jail, a 3rd offense by up a $3,134USD fine and up to 2 years in jail, and 4th or subsequent offenses by up to a $5,021USD fine and 7 years in prison.

Jindal on Monday signed 2 bills that in 1 year represent more progress on reforming weed laws than the state has made in the 26 years since legalizing medical marijuana in 1983.

For one of the bills, it will make Louisiana the 1st state in the South to make weed available for a wide range of chronically ill patients.

The state passed medical weed legislation in 1991, but never set up a framework for how the state would cultivate, prescribe or dispense the drug.

The other bill (HB 149) would reform criminal penalties for weed, making it a misdemeanor rather than a felony for a 2nd offense of weed possession.

It also allows first-time offenders to erase their first conviction for possessing weed if they don’t re-offend within 2 years.

Jindal has previously indicated his support for both pieces of legislation.

But in a departure from other major bill signings, Jindal did not issue a press release explaining why he signed the bills or offer any commentary about the importance of the two bill signings.

One of the reason the 2 bills were seen as so important this year is that bill sponsors managed to convince key opponents in years past — including the Louisiana Association of Sheriffs — not to stand in the way of the legislation this year.

The Sheriffs’ Association did not endorse the legislation, but also did not seek to block it.

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