Cannabis in Louisiana

Cannabis in Louisiana concerns the drug cannabis in Louisiana, United States, where it is legal for medical usage since 2015,[1] but illegal for recreational usage. First time possession is a criminal offense, but was reduced to a $300 fine and 15 days in jail in 2015.

Prohibition (1920s)

Sources give varying dates for the prohibition of cannabis in Louisiana, generally either 1924[2] or 1927.[3][4]

Despite this law, and newspaper accounts of contemporaneous cannabis use in New Orleans, in 1930 there were only 30 marijuana convictions in the entire state.[5]

Reduction of criminal penalties (2015)

On June 30, 2015, Governor Bobby Jindal signed SB 143, which significantly reduced penalties for possession of cannabis. Under the bill, first time possession is punishable by a $300 fine and 15 days in jail, a second offense by up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, a third offense by up a $2,500 fine and up to two years in jail, and fourth or subsequent offenses by up to a $5,000 fine and eight years in prison.[6]

Medical cannabis (2015)

On June 30, 2015, Governor Bobby Jindal also signed HB 149, which sets up a framework for dispensing marijuana for medical purposes.[7] It is expected to take at least until 2017 until the structures are in place to dispense medical cannabis to any patients.[8]


  1. Louisiana Clears Legislative Hurdle to Dispensing Medical Marijuana
  2. Steven R. Belenko (1 January 2000). Drugs and Drug Policy in America: A Documentary History. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-29902-5.
  3. Stephen R. Kandall (1999). Substance and Shadow: Women and Addiction in the United States. Harvard University Press. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-0-674-85361-4.
  4. C. W. M. Wilson (22 October 2013). The Pharmacological and Epidemiological Aspects of Adolescent Drug Dependence: Proceedings of the Society for the Study of Addiction, London, 1 and 2 September 1966. Elsevier. pp. 360–. ISBN 978-1-4831-8616-0.
  5. University of Southwestern Louisiana. Center for Louisiana Studies (2005). The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History. Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. p. 37.
  6. "Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills". Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  7. "Bobby Jindal signs marijuana bills that reform criminal penalties, medical marijuana access". Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  8. "Louisiana marijuana laws: Lesser pot penalties, medical pot OK'd". The Cannabist. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
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