The State of Louisiana has made significant improvements to its cannabis laws in recent years. From launching medical marijuana pharmacies to selling dried cannabis flowers, the state is striving to expand and enhance its policy for future years.
Currently, cannabis possession in Louisiana without having a medical marijuana certificate is unlawful, although New Orleans plans to go a step further by eliminating charges.
We’ll look at how the NOPD is influencing policy by not prosecuting minor cannabis possession in Louisiana, as well as why it’s significant.
The NOPD no longer considers marijuana possession a citation
Citations for simple marijuana possession will not be issued by the NOPD
Possession of under 14 grams of marijuana in the state is currently punishable by a fine of up to $300.
The New Orleans Police Department has taken it a step further, by not issuing citations for minor possession and seizing cannabis on the spot.
For many reasons, this makes sense in a state with a developing medical marijuana program.
It also reduces the amount of time and resources spent on pointless searches or arrests for marijuana in everyday circumstances and routine traffic stops.
The burden on the state legal system and the long-term consequences that can occur to kids and adults who have used marijuana illegally are both reduced by decriminalization, which is an alternative to legalization.
NOPD seized, rather than cited
The NOPD released a statement to address their new attitude on minor cannabis possession, providing a novel approach for cops to interact with individuals who possess small amounts of marijuana.
“The New Orleans Police Department has modified its policy on minor marijuana possession, and a new general order has been put into effect as of Sunday to comply with the city’s newest law. Officers will no longer issue citations for simple possession alone under the new policy. However, under the revised statute law, marijuana is still classified as a prohibited substance. Our cops are obligated to seize marijuana as contraband under this legislation. After that marijuana has been seized, officers must take time to document and log it as property.”
The new NOPD marijuana policy, which went into effect on June 1, is more compassionate and considers the actual harms that cannabis prohibition can have on young American adults and underprivileged youth.
Decriminalization in New Orleans Police Department
Real Policies with Real Results
The New Orleans Police Department is instead using a real-time solution to the cannabis-related problem, as opposed to stalling legislation, year-long committee reviews, and useless legislative ideas.
Concerning the benefits that the department will realize from using its resources more effectively towards real offenses, moving away from the demonization of cannabis may have significant positive results for neighborhoods.
After legalizing medical marijuana, many jurisdictions have chosen to sweep decriminalization under the rug, but in 2022, New Orleans has taken a more compassionate approach toward cannabis.
We hope that the State of Louisiana as a whole will be able to enjoy the same bright future, where it is still a criminal offense to possess cannabis without a medical marijuana certificate.
If you have questions about the Louisiana medical marijuana law or how to become a Louisiana medical marijuana patient, contact one of our respected doctors and schedule an online medical cannabis appointment right away!