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Louisiana Marijuana Laws

The below five videos detail the new Louisiana marijuana laws.  See all five videos to completely understand the new changes regarding medical marijuana in Louisiana. Carl Barkemeyer is a criminal defense attorney in Louisiana that has been representing clients with drug charges for thirteen years. He has put these videos together to help everyone understand what is legal and illegal concerning marijuana in Louisiana. There is a lot of uncertainty and misinformation on the internet regarding the legality of marijuana in Louisiana.

Louisiana Marijuana Laws: What Has Changed

Louisiana marijuana laws 2023

This specific video describes exactly what has changed regarding the marijuana laws in Louisiana. It gives a good overview of the new amendments.  It was updated in 2023.


Louisiana Marijuana Laws: Authority to Cultivate

This specific video details the authority of Louisiana to cultivate or grow marijuana in Louisiana.  Growing marijuana is illegal on the federal level. See the video to understand how Louisiana gets away with growing marijuana without the feds coming down on Louisiana.


Louisiana Marijuana Laws:  Authority to Possess

This informative video details the authority to possess marijuana in Louisiana. The Louisiana Legislature has given physicians the authority to recommend marijuana to patients with certain debilitating conditions. This authority to recommend gives patients the authority to possess schedule 1 marijuana legally.


Louisiana Marijuana Laws:  Authority to Sell

This video discusses who has the authority to sell marijuana in Louisiana. Only licensed dispensaries have the authority to legally sell schedule 1 marijuana in Louisiana. The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy issues licenses to dispensaries to distribute marijuana.


Louisiana Marijuana Laws:  Legal Possession

This video focuses on the possession of marijuana by the patient in Louisiana.  The patient must have a valid recommendation from a physician to legally possess schedule 1 marijuana in Louisiana. Just like any other drug, the patient must have a recommendation or prescription for the drug during that period of time.

Marijuana Reform

Like many other states, Louisiana has been undergoing marijuana reform. Medical cannabis has been legalized for certain medical conditions, and the penalties have also been reduced for the criminal possession of the substance. The state legislature has passed a new law that has amended the diagnoses included as a “debilitating medical condition.” The following have been added, therefore, allowing a doctor to prescribe medical marijuana for “treatment”: glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This will likely open the floodgates for prescriptions for medical marijuana particularly for those patients complaining of intractable pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Many physicians and pain clinics tend to treat the complaint of pain, never knowing if pain actually exists.

However, despite these changes, you can still be charged with an offense if you are caught in possession of this drug illegally or are charged with selling it under both state and federal law.  It is predicted that this new law change will lead to a rise in illegal possession of medical marijuana and sales as a result of those patients legally obtaining prescriptions, but then selling or distributing it to others.

Schedule I Classification

Under LA Rev. Stat. § 40:964, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I hallucinogen. Schedule I drugs are those that are considered to have no medical value and a high potential for addiction or abuse. While this view has changed, the drug is still listed in Schedule I in both the state and under federal law. However, the penalties for possessing it have been reduced. A medical cannabis law was signed in 2015 and is scheduled to be implemented within the next few months. However, the law will only allow people who have received recommendations from one of the doctors who is licensed to recommend the drug for the treatment of one of the following conditions:

  •     Cancer
  •     Cachexia
  •     Epilepsy
  •     Crohn’s disease
  •     Muscular dystrophy
  •     HIV or AIDS
  •     Seizure disorders/spasticity
  •     Multiple sclerosis

If you have one of these conditions, you must first get a recommendation from a doctor who is licensed to recommend the drug, and you must purchase it from one of the few pharmacies that will be licensed to sell it. Recently, Gov. John Bel Edward announced he will sign a bill that would add some conditions to the list of qualifying ones for medical cannabis, including Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma, intractable pain and severe muscle contractions. Despite this reform progress, recreational pot is still illegal in the state.

Drug Possession Charges for Cannabis in Louisiana

The drug possession penalties and laws for marijuana in the state are found in LA Rev. Stat. § 40:966. Under these laws, a first-offense conviction of a drug charge for possessing up to 14 grams is punishable by a fine of up to $300 and imprisonment in a parish jail for up to 15 days. If you are facing a drug charge for possessing more than 14 grams, you may face up to six months in the parish jail and a fine of up to $500. A second possession offense can result in imprisonment for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000. A third conviction can lead to imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to $2,500. A fourth conviction can lead to imprisonment for up to eight years and a fine of up to $5,000. If you are facing one of these charges, you should talk to simple possession lawyer Carl Barkemeyer.

marijuana laws louisiana
Marijuana laws in Louisiana


Drug Distribution and Drug Trafficking of Cannabis

Drug distribution or drug trafficking of cannabis is treated more harshly than simple possession crimes and might necessitate you getting help from a possession with intent lawyer. If you are convicted of distributing less than 2.5 pounds, you may face a sentence of one to 10 years in prison with or without hard labor and a fine of up to $50,000. A conviction for distributing more than 2.5 pounds of cannabis may result in a sentence to hard labor from one to 20 years and a fine of up to $50,000.


Ordinances in New Orleans and Baton Rouge Ease Punishments

The city councils of both New Orleans and Baton Rouge have passed changes to their ordinances that remove jail time for possessing less than 14 grams of cannabis. These are now fine-only offenses in both cities. The changes in these two cities are promising and may spread across the state. If you are facing charges, you should still seek the help of a drug charge lawyer.

What you Should Know about the Marijuana Laws in Louisiana

First things first, marijuana is highly illegal in Louisiana – if you do not already know this then that’s a big problem. While laws vary from state to state, Louisiana is one state that does not compromise on the possession, sale, dealing and distribution of marijuana. Hence, marijuana laws in Louisiana are much stricter.

Before you think of possessing any form of marijuana, or if you are already in possession of it, here’s all you should know about the laws guiding marijuana possession in Louisiana and why you really don’t want to be caught with it.

Why Is Marijuana Illegal in Louisiana?

To clarify, marijuana is defined as all parts of the Genus Cannabis plant. This includes the seeds and resins extracted from the plant, as well as any compound, salt, derivative or mixture from the plant. However, the mature stalks of the Genus Cannabis and any fiber, oil or cake made from the mature stalks are not considered as marijuana.

This definition probes the need for even more specific marijuana laws. In Louisiana, the parts of the Genus Cannabis plant as outlined above are considered illegal because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug. The more common terms used are pot or weed, but they are still marijuana and classified as one of the most serious controlled dangerous substances. This is based on the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law. Marijuana is highly intoxicating and is termed a Hallucinogenic substance.

The Purpose of Marijuana Laws in Louisiana

While marijuana is legal strictly for medical purposes, there are some instances where the lines between legal and illegal marijuana possession and use become blurred. This is why there are specific marijuana laws in Louisiana to clarify such situations. Without these laws, it would be easy for someone caught in the possession of marijuana to claim it is for medical use. The laws ensure that anyone who is cultivating marijuana or is in the possession of marijuana is lawfully permitted to do so. Thus, if you find yourself charged with the illegal possession of marijuana, you will need an aggressive attorney who knows all the laws well enough to make a good case for you.

Overview of Marijuana Laws in Louisiana

To list out each marijuana law here would mean rewriting a significant part of the Controlled Substance Act. Thus, let’s look at an overview to get a better understanding of marijuana laws in Louisiana.

Under Louisiana laws, the related statutes for the possession of marijuana in Louisiana are the Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 40, Section 966. For the therapeutic use of marijuana, the related statutes are the Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 40, section 1046, et seq. In addition, the law provides for immunity of certain individuals from persecution. Individuals such as patients in medical marijuana programs, caregivers as outlined in section 1503, and individuals with the legal right to possess medical marijuana cannot be prosecuted if found in the possession of marijuana.

Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Louisiana

Louisiana marijuana laws are quite different compared to most states. For one, as long as the amount of marijuana in possession is less than 60 pounds, it is not classified as a felony in Louisiana. If you are caught in possession of fewer than 60 pounds of marijuana, whether 2 pounds or 59 pounds, as a first-time offender, you can be sentenced to six months in jail with a $500 fine if over 14 grams. A second offense will earn you up to 6 months of jail time and a $1000 fine. Being convicted for the third time will result in up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

On the other hand, if you are caught in possession of over sixty pounds, there are further classifications of penalties based on the actual amount of marijuana in possession. If the amount is over 60 pounds but less than 2000 pounds, the offender could spend anything between 10 years and sixty years in prison. The possession of two thousand pounds but less than 10,000 pounds attracts between 20 years and 80 years in prison. Any amount more than 10,000 pounds results in a sentence not less than 50 years.

The penalties for the distribution and/or cultivation of marijuana are harsher, with a fine of up to $50,000 and 5-30 years of jail time. A repeat offender is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and 10-60 years’ imprisonment. 

Marijuana laws do seem a tad bit too rigid because basically, someone caught in possession of 59 pounds of marijuana escapes imprisonment of 10 years by a difference of 1 pound. Nonetheless, it is better to not be in possession of marijuana at all than to be calculating your jail time based on the quantity found in your possession.

What Do When in Violation of Marijuana Laws

Louisiana is one state that does not take things lightly with marijuana law offenders. If you are charged with the possession, sale, or use of any form of marijuana as defined by the law, you need to seek professional help immediately.

This is because state laws are specific about what is legal and what is not, thus, the penalties are clearly defined with little to no loopholes. That means, in such a situation, you cannot save yourself. You will require the best help you can get from a criminal defense lawyer you can rely on. This doesn’t promise that the charges will be dropped, but often a good lawyer can significantly reduce your penalty.

However, in the event you were caught in the possession of marijuana and were oblivious to it, a strong defense can be made for you to prevent you being wrongly convicted. Of course, it will be difficult to prove this without an attorney so do not waste time considering whether or not you need one. The simple answer is yes, you do. There is only so much that can be done after conviction, and a 10-year imprisonment will easily put your entire life on pause.

Contact Louisiana defense lawyer, Carl Barkemeyer, today if you are caught in violation of any marijuana law in Louisiana.

Fighting A Marijuana Law Case in Louisiana

In many states across the United States, marijuana has been legalized with clauses varying from states to states. However, in Louisiana, it remains a great criminal offense with serious penalties, if the law against it is broken. Getting convicted of a crime related to the possession or use of marijuana can be dangerous in many ways, hence, fighting the law case with the help of a criminal defense attorney should be highly prioritized.

Attorney Carl Barkemeyer is a criminal defense lawyer who has helped many of his clients wave over different forms of marijuana-related offenses levied against them, or at least put up a strong defense strategy to achieve a reduction in the penalty.

Although in 1991, marijuana was legalized for medical use and other related purposes, the law couldn’t really function. This is as a result of the lack of a proper legal framework. But again in 2017, the Louisiana legislature passed into law the medical use of the cannabis plant by patients and caregivers in any procedure that involves the use. As per the new Louisiana marijuana laws, there are only four categories of people exempted from the rule of the illegality of marijuana. They are:

  • Patients who have proper medical marijuana identification
  • Certain caregivers who are licensed to
  • Patients who are registered as participants in marijuana programs sponsored by the state of Louisiana
  • Parents with children regarded as minors by the law (proper medical marijuana identification must be possessed as proof).

However, this does law still doesn’t give the least chance to anyone to move freely with any amount of the substance without proof of legal possession. If you are caught, you can only free yourself by presenting your medical marijuana identification, or you will be considered a recreational user.

Laws regarding the possession and use of marijuana in Louisiana regularly undergoes reform, therefore, it is important to understand the changes, penalties, how you can commit an offense that goes against the law in relation to marijuana, what can be done after you’ve been accused, and how you can defend yourself against the charge.

Penalties for the Possession of Marijuana in Louisiana

The evaluation of the penalty received when convicted of the possession of marijuana depends on the amount you are found with, and also whether you are likely to traffic it. Even if you possess it for medical reasons, you are expected to be found with a reasonable amount.

Also, it is important to have in mind that marijuana is considered to be a schedule I drug on a federal level. And any substance regarded as a schedule I drug is believed to be highly addictive, dangerous, and of no relevant medicinal value. So, in a situation whereby there’s a clash between a state and federal law, the federal law will surely overpower the state.

To make it simpler, the penalties faced for breaking a marijuana law can be grouped into two, which are:

1. Possession of marijuana

By simply being found with marijuana, you can get a fine and a jail term. Under the new Louisiana marijuana laws, the length of the jail term and the amount of fine that will be requested to be paid depends highly on the amount of the substance found on you. For example, a first-time offender found with as little as 14 grams can get a fine of $100. If you are found with a lot more amount, fine could go up to $500 and a longer jail term of 6 months to years.

To further break it down…

  • A second-time offender can get a fine of $1000 and up to 6 months jail term
  • A third-time offender can get a fine of $2500 and a jail term of 0-2 years
  • Upon fourth conviction, a defendant can get as high as $5000 and up to 8 years jail term.

2. Sale, Distribution, Cultivation, and Trafficking of Marijuana Under the Louisiana Marijuana Laws

If you are convicted of distributing, cultivating, selling, or trafficking marijuana in Louisiana, you have a very serious case at hand. Laws against the distribution of the substance, no matter how small, are very harsh and could be career damaging. The only chance of getting free of the conviction, or to even get a little bit of the penalty reduced is entirely dependent on the professionalism of your defense attorney. At this point, you can’t take any risk because the charges in this category are prosecuted strictly.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • A first-time offender charged with possessing 2.5 pounds can get a jail term of 1 – 10 years and a fine as high as $50,000 (hard labor may be included)
  • A multiple-time offender can get up to 30 years imprisonment with hard labor and a fine of $50,000.

Apart from the fines and jail terms that are mandatory for a convicted offender, there are other rigorous penalties you may have to face under the new Louisiana marijuana laws. These are penalties that make life unbearable for offenders after serving their jail terms. Some of these penalties include being ineligible for certain jobs, getting enrolled in a drug treatment program, having your driver’s license suspended indefinitely, finding it difficult to be a participant in student financial aids, and more.

However, irrespective of how serious your offense might be in any of these two categories, a good defense attorney can come to your aid. Attorney Carl Barkemeyer is a criminal defense lawyer who fully understands the Louisiana marijuana laws guiding marijuana-related offenses. It doesn’t matter whether you are a resident of any county in the state or you are a traveler, your case can be well defended in court to help wave the consequent penalty or fight to get it drastically reduced using the points of argument below:

  • How reliable the witness is to the judge or jury?
  • The legality of the search and seizure carried out by the police
  • The amount of the substance found, in case the penalty is getting too high
  • The credibility of the evidence and investigation carried out. And more.

Also, for your part, you must be ready to give the necessary information in detail. This is what your criminal defense attorney will work on.

4 things you should know about Louisiana marijuana laws

As people across the globe are paying more attention to the medical benefits of marijuana and marijuana-based products, we patiently await the time when marijuana will be legally accepted in all facets of the world. But, for now, it is considered an illegal substance in the state of Louisiana and its encompassing cities. Thus, if you are caught possessing, consuming, distributing, or advocating the use of marijuana within the province of Louisiana, you may suffer serious penalties. Generally, the state of Louisiana considers marijuana as a schedule I hallucinogen, and as such, you’ll need a lawyer if you are arraigned on account of marijuana possession or use.

Some might say that the penalties associated with Louisiana Marijuana laws are not as severe as the penalties associated with other crimes in the state, and they may be right. But, harsh or not, the potential consequences of a marijuana conviction in Louisiana are not something you want to experience. Unbeknownst to most people in the state, Louisiana Marijuana laws have specific reservations for offenders, and with the help of an aggressive attorney, you can make those reservations work in your favor. Here are a few key points to get you acquainted with Louisiana marijuana laws.

  1. The evidence is defined in grams and pounds

Marijuana cases are somewhat different from other cases that are treated in city courts across the state. The reason being that the potential penalties for the marijuana possession or distribution charges are estimated based on the ounce measure of the marijuana found in the accused care during the time of arrest. if you are found with substantial amounts of marijuana during the time of the arrest, the potential consequences will be direr than when the marijuana found on you is just a few ounces. The quantity of the marijuana found in your possession will not only determine the cash fine associated with the charge, but also the prison sentence. For instance, if you are caught with marijuana not more than 2.5 pounds, the potential prison sentence for a conviction will range from 15 days to 6 months. You may also, incur a cash fine of up to 500 dollars. but not more. In the same way, if you are caught with marijuana of up to 10,000 pounds, you may incur a prison term ranging from 25 – 40 years, and an exorbitant cash fine. Regardless of the measure of marijuana found in your care during the time of the arrest, having an aggressive attorney can help lighten the potential penalties. So, who will you call when accused of such a crime? Call Mr. Carl Barkemeyer!

  1. There are two basic classifications of marijuana possession crimes

If you are caught for possessing marijuana in the state of Louisiana, your wrongdoing will be filed under one of two classifications. It’s either you are arrested for committing a marijuana misdemeanor or a marijuana felony.  Either way, you’ll have to defend your integrity in court Against the accusation. On the other hand, how the said crime is classified will define how the severity of the punishment that may result from being convicted for the crime. That’s why it is imperative to employ an attorney that is well versed with Louisiana marijuana laws, to help you fight against the charges filed against you in court. All things considered, Mr. Carl Barkemeyer and his team of aggressive attorneys at Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney, are the ideal candidate for the job. They will work strategically and intentionally to find the anomalies in your case so you can secure the most favorable outcome during your hearing. Keep in mind that felony crimes are no joke in Louisiana, and as such, you must do everything within your means and within the provisions of Louisiana marijuana laws, to defend your integrity in court.

  1. Marijuana cultivation can also expose you to penalties in Louisiana

Louisiana is a place where you don’t want to be caught cultivating or distributing marijuana. Not only will you expose yourself to heavy cash fins, but you may also expose yourself to lengthy prison sentences. Typically, the penalties for the crime is determined by the measure of marijuana you are caught cultivating and the number of times you have been arraigned and convicted for the said crime. If you fail to secure an aggressive lawyer for your defense against the marijuana crime, you may incur up to 45 years’ imprisonment if you are caught cultivating marijuana in Louisiana. Louisiana marijuana laws, allow you to appeal for a favorable outcome despite the severity of your case and how tainted your record is. If you want to secure the best outcome after such accusations, you’ll need a lawyer backing you in court.

  1. The penalties will be heavier if a minor is involved

Louisiana marijuana laws have strict reservations for offenders who are caught distributing, possessing, selling, or advocating the sale of marijuana while a minor is present. If you are caught when a person under the age of 18 is present, the prison sentence may be extended up to 90 years. In this way, you can end up spending the rest of your life behind the four walls of prison. To avoid such dire consequences, you need to have a lawyer backing you in court. Because, when all is said and done, the outcome of your case will be determined by how hard your lawyer fights to defend your integrity in court.

  1. Carl Barkemeyer can help you with your court case

If ever you are arraigned for possessing, cultivating, distributing, or selling marijuana illegally in Louisiana, call Mr. Carl Barkemeyer. Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney has a long-time involvement in marijuana-related cases and a long list of accomplishments in Louisiana city courts. They have everything you need and more, when it comes to tendering the right defense in court against marijuana-related offenses.

Mr. Barkemeyer is always ready to help, so don’t hesitate to call him when you are faced with a marijuana charge.

What a drug defense attorney may be able to for you

If you are facing charges involving cannabis, it is important for you to meet with Louisiana drug defense attorney, Carl Barkemeyer. Whether you need help from a simple possession lawyer or a possession with intent lawyer, we are able to assist you. We may carefully review the evidence in your case and make a determination of whether the investigation was conducted properly. If we identify constitutional problems in your case, we may be able to win dismissal of your charges. Contact Baton Rouge drug charge lawyer, Carl Barkemeyer to schedule your consultation today.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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Louisiana DWI And Criminal Law Firm

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