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When it comes to cannabis, the laws can be confusing, especially in the Big Easy, which leaves a lot of people asking, is weed legal in New Orleans? The short answer is, recreationally no, but it’s not quite as simple as that. In this article, we’ll dive into the complex world of cannabis legality in the New Orleans and explore what you need to know about growing, using and buying cannabis there.

Is recreational weed legal in new orleans?

In the US cannabis laws vary by state. So, is weed legal in New Orleans? No, recreational use is still illegal. Medical marijuana is allowed, but for only qualified patients with conditions and a license. Even then, rules still apply to the buying and possessing it.

But, Louisiana has recently introduced a bill that reduces penalties for small amounts (14 grams) and expunges prior convictions. This has massively eased the strictness of cannabis laws in the state.

The history of weed-legalization goes back to 1996, with California’s Prop 215. By 2018, more than thirty-three states had legalized it, either medically or recreationally. Surveys show citizens supporting legalization for potential economic gain and lower crime rates. This debate is extending globally.

Is medical marijuana legal in New Orleans?

Medical marijuana is legal in New Orleans, if you have a prescription from a licensed doctor. Louisiana Medical Marijuana Act of 2015 made it possible for patients with certain conditions to get access to therapeutic cannabis. Dispensaries have opened in cities like Baton Rouge and Shreveport.

In New Orleans, the only way to get medicinal marijuana is through state-licensed dispensaries. However, up until 2022 you couldn’t buy marijuana flower, you could get MMJ it as oils, pills or topical applications. This all changed in August 2022 and now you can purchase medical marijuana flower from dispensaries in prescribed doses providing you have a license.

Do you need a medical card for weed in New Orleans?

Yes, marijuana is decriminalised, however, you cannot legally purchase it from a dispensary without a medical marijuana license. A physician’s recommendation and a Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners-issued medical cannabis card are required. Conditions like cancer, chronic pain, and epilepsy, crohns disease are all able to qualify.

The state only approves certain dispensaries for the sale of medical weed. The doctor must be authorized and the buyer must also prove residency.

Despite the relaxed law, smoking marijuana in public places and within 1000 feet of schools and playgrounds is still illegal.

Can you smoke on the street in New Orleans?

Smoking weed on the street in New Orleans is a big no-no. Punishment and fines might follow if you get caught. So, it’s best to avoid smoking in public places, like streets and sidewalks. Police are very strict about this and will take action against those who fail to comply.

Additionally, there are events and activities that celebrate cannabis culture in New Orleans. For example, music festivals or conventions where the authorities tend to turn a blind eye to those smoking weed although this isn’t always without risk.

What happens if you get caught with weed in New Orleans?

Possessing weed in New Orleans? Not a good idea! It’s illegal there. Police could seize it and you’d have to go to court and receive a $100 fine. Louisiana hasn’t legalized it for recreational use, so any amount above 14 grams is considered intent to distribute – carrying serious penalties.

First-time offenders could face fines of $300 to $500, and jail time of up to 6 months. Repeat offenders might get fined up to $5,000 and get up to 20 years in prison.

Medical cannabis is legal in Louisiana under certain conditions. Patients who qualify can register with the state’s medical marijuana program and get medical marijuana legally from licensed dispensaries.

Don’t break the law – stay informed and possess weed only within legal limits.


In conclusion, while the state of Louisiana has legalized medical marijuana, recreational use of cannabis is still illegal and carries hefty penalties if you are caught with more than 14g. If you are a medical marijuana patient in New Orleans, there are options available to you, but it’s important to understand the laws and regulations before you grow or use cannabis in Louisana as a whole.

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