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Louisiana Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Less than 60 lbs (first offense) not classified 6 mos $ 500
Less than 60 lbs (second offense) not classified 5 years $ 2,500
Less than 60 lbs (subsequent offense) not classified 20 years $ 5,000
60 - 2000 lbs felony 5* - 30 years $ 100,000
2000 - 10,000 lbs felony 10* - 40 years $ 400,000
More than 10,000 lbs felony 25* - 40 years $ 400,000
First and second offenders may be eligible for probation.
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Distribution or Cultivation of Marijuana

Any amount (first offense) not classified 5* - 30 years $ 50,000
Any amount (subsequent offense) not classified 10* - 60 years $ 100,000
To a minor not classified 45 - 90 years $ 75,000
Includes possession with intent to distribute
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Miscellaneous

Possession, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana within 2000 feet of a drug free zone is punishable by 1.5 times the maximum sentence.
Staying in a public place with the purpose to distribute marijuana is a crime punishable by a fine of $100-$1,000, and/or up to 6 months imprisonment, and/or up to 120 hours of community service.
Conviction of any crime involving controlled substances results in denial of driving privileges for not less than 30 days but not more than 1 year.

Penalty Details

Marijuana is a schedule I(C) hallucinogenic substance under Louisiana law.

Possession for Personal Use

For first offenders, possession of less than 60 pounds of marijuana is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 6 months of imprisonment. Second offenses are punishable by a fine of $250-$2500 and/or up to 5 years of imprisonment. Both first and second offenders may be eligible for probation, which will include 32 hours of community service and a substance abuse program, the cost of probation will be paid by the defendant. Third and subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 20 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:966(E)

Possession of 60-2,000 pounds of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by 5-30 years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000-$100,000. Possession of 2,000-10,000 pounds is a felony and is punishable by 10-40 years of imprisonment and a fine of $100,000-$400,000. Possession of 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by 25-40 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:966(F)

Distribution or Cultivation of Marijuana

Distribution of marijuana includes possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:966(A)

Distribution or cultivation of marijuana is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and 5-30 years of imprisonment. Subsequent offenses are punishable by 10-60 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000. Prior offenses include any drug crime convictions, no matter where they occurred. If the defendant is 18 or older and is selling to a minor under the age of 18 who is at least 3 years younger than the defendant a maximum term of 45 years may be imposed for first offenders or 90 years for subsequent offenders. Distributing marijuana to an elementary, middle, or high school student is punishable by a maximum term of 45 years imprisonment for first offenders and up to 90 years imprisonment for subsequent offenses. For first offenders a fine of up to $75,000 may also be imposed. For subsequent offenders a fine of $150,000 may be imposed. Soliciting a minor to distribute marijuana is punishable for first offenders by 45 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $75,000. For subsequent offenders imprisonment for up to 90 years and a fine of up to $150,000 may be imposed.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:966(B)(3)
  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:982
  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:981(C)
  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:981.1
  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:981.2

Hash & Concentrates

Louisiana classifies both plant-form Marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinols, including Hashish and Marijuana Concentrates, in schedule I of the Louisiana Controlled Substances Schedule. For the purposes of criminal justice, the statute defines Marijuana as including tetrahydrocannabinols and derivatives thereof. The penalties for offenses involving tetrahydrocannabinols and derivatives thereof have the same penalties as for plant-form Marijuana.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. §40:964(C)(19), (27)
  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. §40-961(25)
  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. §40-966(E)

Miscellaneous

Violation in a Drug Free Zone

Possession, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana within 2,000 feet of a drug free zone is punishable by 1.5 times the maximum sentence allowed for the underlying offense. A drug free zone includes: Elementary schools, high schools, colleges or universities, playgrounds, drug treatment facilities, religious buildings, public housing, and child care centers.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:981.3
Drug Traffic Loitering

Staying in a public place with the purpose to distribute marijuana is a crime punishable by a fine of $100-$1,000, and/or up to 6 months imprisonment, and/or up to 120 hours of community service.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 40:981.4
Driver's license privileges

Whenever any person who has attained the age of 19 is convicted of any crime, offense, violation, or infraction involving the possession, use, or abuse of one or more controlled dangerous substances, the court... shall issue an order of denial of driving privileges for not less than 30 days but not more than 1 year.

See:

  • Louisiana Rev. Stat. § 430(2)
Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Tax Stamps

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML's report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.






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