Updated on January 3, 2019.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Louisiana Medical Marijuana Penalties
Both federal and Louisiana state law consider marijuana a Schedule I substance. Louisiana patients without a recommendation will receive the penalties listed below for marijuana-related activities. Meanwhile, a recommendation protects you from possession charges for amounts under a 30-day supply. Read on to learn more about marijuana-related penalties under Louisiana state law.
Louisiana bases penalties for possession of up to two and a half pounds on the number of offenses. First offenders of marijuana possession receive the following punishments based on weight:
- Under 14 Grams: Up to $300 in fines or 15 days imprisonment
- Over 14 Grams, But Under Two and a Half Pounds: Up to $500 fine or six months imprisonment
The subsequent offenses get the same penalty no matter if they have under or over 14 grams:
- Second Offense: Up to $1000 fine or six months in prison
- Third Offense: Up to $2500 fine or two years imprisonment
- Fourth Offense: Up to $5000 fine or eight years in prison
Once the weight goes over two and a half pounds, the penalties depend entirely on the number of pounds:
- Up to 60 Pounds: Two to 10 years imprisonment and a $30,000 fine
- 60 to 2000 Pounds: Five to 30 years in prison and a fine between $50,000 to $100,000
- 2000 to 10,000 Pounds: 10 to 40 years imprisonment and fine between $100,000 to $400,000
- 10,000 Pounds or More: 25 to 40 years imprisonment
Any possession charge of more than 60 pounds is considered a felony.
Distribution and Cultivation
Cultivation and distribution charges receive similar penalties, although certain types of distribution get harsher punishment. The following penalties apply to both cultivation and distribution:
- First Offense: Up to $50,000 in fines, five to 30 years imprisonment
- Subsequent Offenses: Up to $100,000 in fines, 10 to 60 years imprisonment
For the purposes of these charges, any prior drug conviction counts as a prior offense. For example, someone charged with possession of another drug would receive the penalties for a subsequent offense. These penalties also apply to anyone who possesses marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
All other penalties relate to distribution to minors:
- A person over 18 who sells to a minor at least three years younger than them can receive up to 45 years imprisonment for their first offense and up to 90 for their second.
- The same imprisonment penalties apply to first and subsequent charges of distributing to school students and soliciting a minor to distribute. However, these offenders may also have to pay $100,000 for a first offense and $200,00 for subsequent offenses.
Driving Under the Influence
Offenders who test positive for THC in their systems when suspected of driving under the influence receive similar penalties to DUI offenders:
- First Offense: $300 to $1000 in fines and 10 days to six months in jail. Must participate in 32 hours of community service and a substance abuse program. License suspended for 90 days.
- Second Offense: $750 to $1000 in fines and 30 days to six months in jail. Must participate in 240 hours of community service and a substance abuse evaluation. License suspended for one year.
- Third Offense: $2000 fine and jail for one to five years. Must take a substance abuse class. License suspension for two years. Possible seizure and sale of vehicle.
- Fourth Offense: $5000 fine and jail for 10 to 30 years. Must receive psychological testing. License suspension for two years. Possible seizure and sale of vehicle.
Get Legal Assistance
To find a lawyer near you, contact a lawyer on NORML’s legal committee.