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Marijuana Laws

New Orleans Marijuana Legislation in 2016

Louisiana has made strides in marijuana legislation in the past 18 months or so. This year proves to be no different, though it can look a lot less progressive than in years past. Regardless, it’s still on the table and a number of Bills were introduced to the House to see whether Medical Marijuana will become a prominent source of treatment for those living with certain diseases. Although these bills may not be voted on this year, they will be discussed at the State Capitol.

What Louisiana Marijuana Laws Have Changed Already?

Last year, we saw a number of Bills pass through the House and Senate and actually signed by former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. For example, there is an effort to provide a way to dispense medical marijuana in Louisiana, in addition to growing it and prescribing it, and they’ve successfully pushed to de-criminalize marijuana possession penalties as well. Members of both parties see this as a win for the state.

What are the Louisiana Marijuana Bills For This Year?

There are a number of bills through both the House and the Senate that Louisiana Legislature will consider this year. Most likely the votes will take place in 2017. Here is just a bit of information about each of them:

Senate Bill 180

This one seeks to provide people who are in possession of medical marijuana with a defense that can be used during a criminal trial. Basically, if someone is caught in New Orleans or Louisiana with marijuana that they obtained from out-of-state for medical purposes, then this person can avoid criminal penalties for the possession if they are truly a medical marijuana patient. It is important to note that the marijuana would have to be in the only form legally allowed in Louisiana, which is marijuana oil. This bill also hopes to protect the parents of children who are medical marijuana patients who may be caught in possession of medical marijuana.

Senate Bill 271

This Bill, along with Bill 180, was proposed by Senator Fred Mills, R-Parks, and proposes adding additional conditions suffered by patients who would be eligible for medical marijuana prescriptions in Louisiana. Under the current law that was passed last year, only patients who have glaucoma, symptoms resulting from chemotherapy or spasticquadripledgia are eligible to receive a prescription for medical marijuana. This bill proposes that it includes “debilitating conditions” such as cancer, HIV and AIDS. In addition, it proposes that doctors prescribe medical marijuana for patients who suffer from diseases that cause the body to waste away or seizure disorders such as epilepsy or muscle spasms as a result of Crohn’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis.

House Bill 267

Representative Greg Mill, R-Norco, wants to bring marijuana paraphernalia penalties more in line with the legislation that was passed last year. Basically, it would give someone who has been convicted of marijuana paraphernalia possession a second chance and lower the penalty for the crime. This bill is likely to pass as it falls in line with previously passed legislature.

House Bill 446

This bill is proposing that Louisiana pharmacies would be charged a $5,000 fee if seeking a license to dispense medical marijuana. The proposed fee would help set up the framework for getting medical marijuana into the patients’ hands as I’m assuming they will use the money to help fund the state’s growing process as last year’s bill indicated there will only be one state funded grower in the city.

When Will Louisiana Legislature Vote on New Marijuana Laws?

It is unknown when we will hear about a vote on these bills, but it will likely be in 2017. We will keep you posted on everything new regarding marijuana laws in New Orleans and Louisiana. If you have questions regarding your out of state medical marijuana prescription, or a marijuana crime that you have recently been charged with, please don’t hesitate to contact Crescent City Law at (504) 264-9492.

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