Marijuana is still illegal in Louisiana.
In Louisiana, SB 271 was introduced in 2016 to amend a 2015 law that failed to legalize medical marijuana because it said that doctors could “prescribe” medical marijuana, which is illegal under federal law. The new bill changed the wording to “recommend,” which is legal, but did not contain any protections from prosecution for patients, growers, or distributors. SB 180 was created to close that loophole, but only offered protections for patients who lawfully possess medical marijuana; as a result, the bills did not legalize distribution or cultivation, meaning patients cannot get legal access to marijuana. In addition, draft regulations would require doctors in Louisiana to list dosage amounts with their recommendations, which may put physicians at risk of violating federal drug laws. For these reasons and others, neither the Marijuana Policy Project nor the National Council of State Legislatures has classified Louisiana as a state with a legal medical marijuana program. This may change depending on how the situation develops in the state.