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Is Your Medical Marijuana Card Valid in Louisiana?

Posted on Apr 27, 2016 in Courts, Criminal Defense, Drugs, DUI/DWI, Legislation, Local Issues, Marijuana, Medical Marijuana, NOPD

Although medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana, the state does not currently recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. However, the state legislature is considering bills this year that may change this restriction.

 Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Louisiana?

 In 2015, Louisiana became the first state in the South to adopt a law that legalizes medical marijuana and establishes a framework for dispensing the drug. Under the law, medical marijuana is legal in forms that cannot be inhaled, like oil. In addition, medical marijuana can only be used for 3 medical conditions:
  • Symptoms resulting from use of chemotherapy cancer treatment
  • Glaucoma
  • Spastic quadriplegia

Can I use my valid out-of-state medical marijuana card to  use marijuana in Louisiana?

The short answer is no – at least not yet. At this time, Louisiana does not recognize out-of-state medical marijuana patients. Some states have what is called “reciprocity”. These states recognize medical marijuana cards that are issued by another state. However, Louisiana has not yet approved a reciprocity law. Therefore, if you are caught with the drug you may be charged with marijuana possession under state law – even if you own a valid medical marijuana card. (Read more about New Orleans’ new law on marijuana possession). You may also face serious charges under federal drug trafficking laws if you bring medical marijuana across state lines.

 New Bills That May Impact People with Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Cards

 Although Louisiana does not currently recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, the state legislature is considering two bills this year that may affect holders of medical marijuana cards in the future. The first bill, Senate Bill 180, has two main components:
  1. The bill would allow you to possess the drug legally if you hold a valid medical marijuana card from another state, and are caught with possession of the drug in Louisiana.
  2. The bill would also allow parents of children who are medical marijuana patients to possess the drug legally.
While the bill would protect holders of a medical marijuana card, there are two restrictions in the bill. The bill requires that the medical marijuana be used:
  1. In a form allowed under Louisiana law, such as oil. Inhalable forms of marijuana are illegal.
  2. For a condition allowed under Louisiana law, which currently includes glaucoma, symptoms from chemotherapy, and spastic quadriplegia
The second bill, Senate Bill 271, would expand the number of medical conditions that patients can use the drug for. The bill would expand the list of conditions to include cancer, HIV, AIDS, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, and several others. Please remember that these two bills are not yet laws in Louisiana. At this time, Louisiana does NOT recognize out-of-state medical marijuana laws. We will provide you with more information if the bills move forward in the state legislature. You can read more about the bills at NOLA.com. While laws are changing – it is still illegal to possess medical marijuana in Louisiana. You may arrested if you are stopped and have medical marijuana on you. Call Bloom Legal today at 504-599-997 or fill out our online form to discuss your case. Our lawyers can help you understand the consequences of a marijuana possession charge, and how you can fight the charge

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