Marijuana Laws in Louisiana: What’s new?
If you support marijuana usage for medical or non-medical purposes, Louisiana recently took a step in the direction of total legalization.
In June 2018, usage and possession of marijuana for certain medical purposes was legalized for those with a valid recommendation issued by a licensed medical professional.
There are only a handful of medical conditions that qualify someone for a recommendation, but the ball has begun to roll in the process of total state-wide legalization. More on marijuana laws in Louisiana follows:
What Substances Qualify as Marijuana?
A very basic detail in learning about marijuana laws is the definition of a marijuana product.
Any physical piece or manipulated product that has been extracted from the cannabis plant such as resin, seeds, or oils is considered marijuana. Common street names for marijuana include: weed, grass, kush, skunk, and Loud.
Charges vary by specific cannabis substance, quantity possessed, and number of relevant offenses.
What Are the New Marijuana Laws?
Medical marijuana is now legal in Louisiana as of June 2018. This means if you are diagnosed with an already listed, State-approved condition you may be recommended cannabis products by your doctor. It is still considered illegal under federal law, but the discrepancies between the states’ laws and federal laws regarding marijuana have not yet been addressed.
Initially, only those with deadly illnesses and people who suffered from seizures were qualified for a recommendation. After the legislature realized there were more cases that could benefit from the drug’s effect, the list of approved conditions was expanded to ailments such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, Chron’s disease, glaucoma, muscular dystrophy, and PTSD.
Marijuana is now available to be grown in Louisiana. Certain public universities, Louisiana State University and Southern University in particular, are allowed to have grow houses which produce marijuana plants for medical use and for scientific research. If these grow houses become very lucrative to the school and the state, the Louisiana Legislature may permit other entities to obtain licenses and begin producing marijuana as well. This would likely push the state officials further towards total legalization.
Medical marijuana distributed in Louisiana cannot be vaped or smoked, only consumed or administered topically. This means the actual marijuana flower is still illegal, but other parts of the plant are considered utilitarian enough to be used medically.
Even if use of the plant does become legal, or if recreational use is legalized, street vendors will still not be allowed to sell the drug. This is true in other states who have legalized recreational weed usage like Washington and Vermont. A license is required for all who wish to sell marijuana products, recreational or medical.
Don’t fall for fake drugs!
With the increase in availability in marijuana products around Louisiana, some ill-intentioned folks are likely to take advantage of the situation. Do NOT accept or purchase any sort of marijuana product that isn’t from a licensed pharmacist. The deadly drug Fentanyl has been found in many laced marijuana products that were marked as prescription drugs, and this has led to many hospitalizations and even deaths around the state and the country. Recreational users may fall prey to scams such as this; do not get yourself in to this situation. Never use someone else’s prescription medicine, even if you know where they got it.
In addition, synthetic marijuana, or Mojo, is still a common recreational street drug found all around the state. There are several deaths per year in in Louisiana associated with overdoses and other incidents, such as drownings, related to the consumption of synthetic marijuana. Remember that this drug is DANGEROUS, ILLEGAL, and should not be consumed under any circumstances.
Need an attorney?
Carl Barkemeyer, Attorney at Law, has 14 years of experience helping clients through legal proceedings resulting from drug charges. If you have been arrested for a drug charge in Louisiana, Carl Barkemeyer is a professional lawyer who has a reputation for being extremely communicative about his clients’ situations and their rights. He will aid you through your case and make sure you get the fairest treatment you can receive for your crime.