If you’ve ever visited Bourbon Street in New Orleans or seen any videos of a Mardi Gras party there you would assume anything goes. On some level that is true. On Bourbon Street you are allowed to carry and drink liquor between clubs. There is also a full fledge gambling casino just a few blocks away from the bars and dance clubs. However, when it comes to marijuana possession or use Louisiana laws aren’t as forgiving no matter what time of the year it might be.
Although some Louisiana lawmakers have tried to move a medical marijuana bill forward, currently there are no such exemptions on the law books.
Louisiana Marijuana Possession Penalties
Louisiana marijuana laws are very clear when it comes to possession. If you are arrested with any amount of pot you’ll be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and face up to six months in jail and pay a $500 fine. That is for a first time offense. With a second marijuana possession conviction you will be charged with a felony and you could find yourself in jail for up to five years and paying up to $2,000 in fines. A third possession conviction comes with a possible 20 year jail term and $5,000.
If you are arrested with any amount of pot within 1,000 of a school, park, church or public housing your sentence will become mandatory for at least half of the sentence (according to the sentencing guidelines). For instance, if it is a third offense under these special circumstances you’ll be going to jail for ten years — guaranteed.
Louisiana Marijuana Growing or Selling Penalties
Every arrest of growing or selling marijuana in Louisiana will have you charged with a felony. The difference in the penalties depends on the amount you are charged with growing or selling. Being convicted of selling or growing less than 60 pounds of pot can have you behind bars for anywhere between 5 and 30 years along with a possible $50,000 fine. For an amount of 60 to 2,000 pounds of pot, the jail time remains the same, but the penalty can go up to $100,000.
In the range of 2,000 pounds to 10,000 pounds of pot your possible jail time can run between 25 to 40 years and a fine of $400,000. If you are convicted of selling or growing any amount of pot above 10,000 pounds you could be in jail for up to 40 years and pay a $1,000,000 fine. Yes, one million dollars.
If you are convicted of selling to a minor at least three years younger than you then you sentence and fine will be doubled. Selling pot within 1,000 feet of a school comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of half the amount you are charged with.
Louisiana Marijuana Paraphernalia Laws
Being arrested and convicted of possessing or selling marijuana paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor for a first time offense. That can mean six months in jail and a $500 fine. A second offense is still a Class A misdemeanor, but the possible jail time goes up to one year. And a third offense can mean three years in jail.