When you think of Louisiana, you probably think of New Orleans and Mardi Gras celebrations and parties.
If you live in Louisiana, you hope to go to New Orleans, or maybe Baton Rouge or Shreveport, so you can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere where marijuana, up to a certain amount, has been decriminalized for a while already.
On the 15th of this month, Governor John Bel Edwards officially signed a bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana statewide.
This does not mean it’s legal, yet!
What this means is that, as opposed to possible jail time and some steep fines starting at $300 for the first offense and increasing to $5000 by the fifth offense, people found in possession of less than 14 grams of cannabis in any form will only receive a fine of up to $100 for any offense.
Anything more than 14 grams, however, will still carry some pretty harsh penalties.
In 2015, Louisiana approved marijuana for medicinal use, provided you have a doctor’s note.
The authorization for purchase is sent straight to the dispensaries, rather than being issued a medical marijuana card like other states.
The signing of this recent bill has opened up the options for these users to legally allow them to smoke the entire plant, including flowers, rather than only a specific portion of the plant like the leaves.
At the signing of the new legislation, the governor was surprised to see that there was more support for the bill than expected.
Bel Edwards even noted that, in regards to full legalization, there is “a growing recognition that this is going to happen in Louisiana one day”.
The bill reducing these penalties and allowing whole-plant consumption by medical marijuana users is set to take effect in August, and we are hoping for a broader legalization to be considered in the future.
This is certainly a step in the right direction, and we at The Standard can’t wait to see how this legislation will evolve in the coming months and years.