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Police in New Orleans Working Towards Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession, Medical Still Only Legal

Louisiana has made some significant changes with cannabis in the last few years. From establishing medical marijuana pharmacies to offering dried cannabis flower, the state has moved to expand and improve its program for the upcoming years.

Currently, possession of cannabis without registering for a medical marijuana certification in Louisiana is illegal, though New Orleans aims to move one step further by removing penalties altogether.

In this article, we’ll cover how the NOPD is making an impact by not pursuing simple cannabis possession and why it matters in Louisiana.

Simple Marijuana Possession No Longer a Citation for NOPD

NOPD Will Not Pursue Simple Marijuana Possession Citations

Currently in Louisiana, simple possession of 14 grams or less of cannabis is punishable by a fine up to $300.

The New Orleans Police Department has decided to take that one step further, by not even writing citations for simple possession and seizing cannabis on site.

In a state with a growing medical marijuana program, this makes a lot of sense for several reasons.

For one, it eases the burden on law enforcement in pursuing unfruitful searches or arrests regarding marijuana in everyday situations and traffic stops.

Decriminalization, as an alternative to legalization, decreases the strain on the state legal system and lightens the permanent repercussions that can happen to youth and adults who have possessed cannabis illegally, which is a considerably large pool of people.

NOPD to Seize, Not Cite

The NOPD released a statement explaining their new stance on simple cannabis possession, offering a new route for officers to engage with people who have small amounts of cannabis:

"NOPD has revised our policy covering procedures related to simple possession of marijuana, and new general order in effect as of Sunday to comply with a new municipal ordinance. Under the revised policy, officers will no longer issue citations for simple possession alone. However, marijuana remains an illegal substance under Louisiana revised statute law and our officers are obligated to seize marijuana as contraband. Once that marijuana is seized, officers must still take time to record and log it as property."

This new policy for NOPD offers a more compassionate approach to simple marijuana possession and considers the realized harms that cannabis criminalization can cause for underprivileged youth and young American adults.

New Orleans Police Department Makes Example for Decriminalization

Real Policies Equal Real Results

As opposed to stalling legislation, year-long committee reviews, and valueless legislative proposals, the New Orleans Police Department is implementing a real-time answer to the problem of cannabis criminalization.

Considering the advantages that the department will have in using their resources more effectively towards meaningful crimes, moving away from the vilification of cannabis can have real impacting results on communities.

While many states and cities choose to ignore decriminalization after legalizing medical marijuana, New Orleans has taken the opposite approach and embraced a more compassionate approach towards cannabis in 2022.

We hope that the same future will extend to the state of Louisiana as a whole, where it remains a criminal offense to possess cannabis without a medical marijuana certification.

Get Your Louisiana Medical Marijuana Certification

Using or possessing cannabis without a medical marijuana certification could land you in jail in many places in Louisiana, but New Orleans likely won’t be one of them. But in order to access quality legal cannabis, patients must have a medical marijuana certification that permits the purchase and possession of medical marijuana.

Beat the lines and get your medical marijuana certification in Louisiana today, and you can even get certified for medical marijuana online for ease of use and convenience.

For questions about Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, or how to become a medical marijuana patient in Louisiana, consult with one of our trusted doctors and book an online medical marijuana appointment today!


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Louisiana Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Louisiana!

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