Cannabis in Louisiana concerns the drug cannabis in Louisiana, United States, where it has been legal for medical use since 1991.[citation needed] However, cannabis remains illegal for recreational usage throughout the state. First time possession of the drug remains a criminal offense but was decriminalized statewide in 2015 to a $300 fine and/or 15 days in jail. Possession of marijuana has also been decriminalized in the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Prohibition (1920s)[edit]

Sources give varying dates for the prohibition of cannabis in Louisiana, generally either 1924[1] or 1927.[2][3]

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.[4]

Reduction of criminal penalties (2015)[edit]

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.[5]

Medical cannabis (2015-present)[edit]

On June 30, 2015, Governor Bobby Jindal also signed HB 149, which sets up a framework for dispensing marijuana for medical purposes.[6] On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, medical cannabis was dispensed in the state for the first time, supplied by cannabis grower GB Sciences. [7]


  1. ^ Steven R. Belenko (1 January 2000). Drugs and Drug Policy in America: A Documentary History. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-29902-5.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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. ISBN 9781887366670.
  5. ^ "Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills". Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  6. ^ "Bobby Jindal signs marijuana bills that reform criminal penalties, medical marijuana access". Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  7. ^ "Louisiana launching medical marijuana after years of waiting". PBS NewsHour. 2019-08-06. Retrieved 2020-03-28.