Many states across the country are taking lighter stances on marijuana. Some have even made recreational as well as medical use of this drug legal. This is where Louisiana stands apart from other states. Here, marijuana laws are still extremely strict, as are the consequences for anyone convicted of a marijuana-related drug crime. Those charged with these crimes can help themselves by seeking out a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling such cases.
In Louisiana, marijuana is still considered a banned substance, except for medical purposes. Those who have prescriptions may carry a small amount and use marijuana as needed. In 2017, a law was passed that allows the caregivers of those with cannabis prescriptions to also carry and obtain the drug. The cultivation of marijuana for medical use is still prohibited.
What are the consequences associated with marijuana-related crimes? Penalty severity all comes down to two things, the amount in one's possession at the time of arrest and the number of similar offenses on one's record. According to current laws, the penalties from marijuana possession are:
- Less than 14 grams: Maximum jail term of 15 days and/or a fine of up to $300 -- first conviction
- 14 grams to 2.4 pounds: Maximum jail term of six months and/or a fine of up to $500 -- first conviction
- 2.5 pounds to 60 pounds: Up to 10 years in prison and fines ranging between $10,000 and $30,000
- 2,000 pounds to 10,000 pounds: Up to 40 years in prison and fines ranging between $100,000 and $400,000
- More than 10,000 pounds: Up to 40 years in prison and fines ranging between $400,000 and $1 million
Clearly, with consequences such as these, marijuana-related charges are not something that one should treat lightly. Some Louisiana residents who are facing possession charges may feel that there is little they can do to help their cases. This may not be true. A criminal defense attorney will have the ability to investigate the matter, question evidence and assist the accused in forming a defense strategy that will best benefit his or her situation.