Some states have legalized marijuana use for medicinal and recreational purposes. The federal government continues to ban marijuana possession under the Controlled Substances Act. With the many divergent state and federal laws that govern one’s legal ability to possess or use marijuana, a New Orleans resident might be rather confused about the whole state of the laws regarding the drug.
In Louisiana, medicinal marijuana is legal. However, there is a major catch. While a doctor may write a prescription for such a treatment and a patient may possess the drug under the terms of that treatment, there is nowhere in the state that the patient may obtain medicinal marijuana. In 2014 the Louisiana Senate failed to approve legislation that would have allowed marijuana to become a regulated industry.
On the other hand, possession of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal in the state. A first time offense can result in an individual spending six months in jail, paying a fine or incurring both punishments. Subsequent marijuana possession infractions can lead to bigger jail and financial penalties, which can impose significant challenges to an individual’s freedom. Drug charges like marijuana trafficking or distribution can yield more significant criminal penalties.
An arrest on a marijuana drug charge can be incredibly damaging to a person’s future. Though every case is different, many individuals who must deal with drug charges choose to do so with the help and support of criminal defense attorneys. Whether a person’s charges fall under state or federal law he or she may have the opportunity to present a defense to the charges lodged against him or her.