New Orleans Softens Marijuana Possession Laws Starting This Week

Starting Wednesday (June 22), simple possession of marijuana in New Orleans will carry far fewer consequences for repeat offenders. Police have been able since 2010 to issue a court summons to someone caught for the first time with weed. Now that option will extend to subsequent offenses.

The City Council approved an ordinance in March that gives New Orleans police greater latitude on pot possession. They are attempting to help police spend less time on minor crimes and keep low-level offenders out of the city's jail.


Louisiana Gearing up for Marijuana Business: How Much Might LSU, southern, Companies Profit? How Will It Be Distributed?

Growing up on a cotton farm in Missouri in the 1950s, Bill Richardson didn’t know a thing about marijuana. Nobody talked about it, he never saw it and he certainly never smoked it.

“I didn’t inhale,” Richardson, LSU’s 71-year-old vice president for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture, said with a smile in a recent interview.

Richardson has become the unlikely leader of an effort to get LSU into the pot business.


Louisiana Will Remain Just Shy Of A Workable Medical Marijuana Program For Another Year

I received the following alert out of Louisiana:

I am sorry to report that the Louisiana Legislature continues to repeat its mistakes. For nearly 40 years, flawed legislative drafting has prevented the establishment of a workable medical marijuana program. Yesterday, the House took another step forward by passing S.B. 180, but it failed to fix a key omission.


Marijuana tax in Louisiana could add $128 million in revenue, report says

Louisiana could earn as much as $128 million in annual revenue if it were to legalize and tax marijuana, according to a Washington, D.C., think tank's new report.

The Tax Foundation, a nonprofit research organization most often described as conservative and pro-business, based its calculations on current demand for pot in Colorado and Washington, states that have authorized recreational use along with Oregon and Alaska. Ten more states have proposed ballot measures to legalize pot commerce, and Vermont's legislature is considering one.


Louisiana medical marijuana expansion bill signed into law


Katie Corkern couldn’t stop smiling Thursday, confident that relief for her son’s uncontrollable seizures may finally be near.

Corkern, her son Connor and the rest of her family stood near Gov. John Bel Edwards as he signed a bill to kick-start and expand the Louisiana medical marijuana program, which has been slow to begin because of regulatory hurdles.

“I’m very excited for the future. And I’m very excited for all the people this medicine can help,” the mother and advocate said after the bill signing.

The governor said the program will have a dramatic effect on Louisiana’s families.


The First State To Legalize Medical Marijuana Is Finally About To Get It Right

Louisiana is poised to officially become the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana. On May 16, the state senators approved the House's revisions to a bill that would officially allow patients to access marijuana for medicinal uses. The bill is now headed to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards (D), who has said he would sign it and thereby make medical marijuana officially legal in Louisiana.


What counts as 'medical marijuana' varies from state to state – and that's a problem

On April 17, Pennsylvania became the latest state to pass medical marijuana legislation, which will take effect this month. And recently Ohio’s House of Representatives has passed a plan to permit medical marijuana in the state.


Louisiana House passes sweeping medical marijuana legislation

Medical marijuana advocates won a significant victory Wednesday in their efforts to jumpstart Louisiana's medical marijuana program.

The House voted 62-31 to expand the program to cover more diseases and to make regulatory changes aimed at getting medicinal-grade pot into patients' hands more quickly.


Louisiana Medical Marijuana Ad Campaign Launched Ahead of Vote

A group that advocates for medical marijuana is ratcheting up pressure on Louisiana lawmakers by paying for billboards depicting sick children and their mothers who want the state to pass legislation that would allow access to the drug.

Sensible Marijuana Policy for Louisiana, a nonprofit group that was behind a medical marijuana bill filed by state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, is planning a news conference Tuesday (May 10) to announce the billboards. Each ad will appear on digital billboards, one of them in Baton Rouge and the other in Shreveport.


Medical marijuana bill stalls in Louisiana Legislature, but others remain alive

BATON ROUGE -- State Rep. Ted James said the state needs to go further and faster in making medical marijuana available to sick Louisianans who are in need of the treatment.

On Wednesday he pitched his bill to the House Health and Welfare Committee, which would have expanded the ways it can be consumed, the diagnoses that are eligible for treatment and the number of growers.

But after more than an hour of emotional testimony from members of the public, coupled with pointed questions from skeptical lawmakers, James, D-Baton Rouge, decided to table his House Bill 1112. Across the Capitol on the Senate side, Sen. Fred Mills, R-New Iberia, has a similar bill that's advancing.


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