The legal status of marijuana in Louisiana

States across the country have taken major steps toward legalizing the personal and recreational use of marijuana by their citizens. Though the federal government still recognizes marijuana as an illegal substance, some states have chosen to permit the limited possession and use of the drug by adult members of their populations. Louisiana, however, is not one of those states.

State law has not been changed or modified to allow individual citizens to have or use marijuana for their personal use. In fact, a person who is found to be in possession of up to 14 grams of the substance may be penalized with 15 days in a parish jail, $300 in fines, or both. If a person has a prior arrest for drug charges, those punishments can be amplified.

The state does, though, recognize an exception to its strict marijuana laws. The symptoms of certain medical conditions can be alleviated by controlled marijuana use, and therefore certain individuals may be permitted to possess and use the substance as part of their medical treatment. Additionally, parents of minors who may use marijuana for medical use, care givers and sanctioned facilities may possess marijuana for the explicit purpose of providing medical patients with the therapies they need.

Put simply, it is a crime in the state to use or have marijuana on one's person, to grow it or sell it without the proper authorization from the state for sanctioned medical use. Individuals who are alleged to have possessed, distributed or sold marijuana can be arrested and charged with serious drug crimes. They may wish to consult with criminal defense attorneys to prepare for their legal dilemmas.

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