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Marijuana laws in Louisiana and your potential for penalties

In Louisiana, you can still get in trouble for having marijuana despite it being legal in other states within the United States. Because the legality of marijuana is not a federal law, you must abide by your state laws. Here is a rundown of the penalties you could face if you're caught using, selling, possessing, or distributing marijuana.

First, if you have only been stopped for marijuana once and have less than 60 pounds on you at the time, you can still be imprisoned for up to six months. The maximum fine you face is $500. On a second offense for the same crime, you can face up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. On a third or greater offense, you may face up to $5,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison.

Once you have over 60 pounds of marijuana in your possession, you can be charged with a felony. If you have up to 2,000 pounds of the drug, you must serve a mandatory five years in prison, but you may be made to serve up to 30. For over 10,000 pounds, you have to serve a mandatory sentence of 25 years, but it could extend up to 40. You could also face a fine of up to $400,000.

Growing marijuana is also a crime; a first offense has a mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. If you find yourself facing these kinds of penalties, you may want to defend yourself from the start. Making the right moves to start with may help you reduce your sentence.

Source: NORML, "Louisiana Laws & Penalties" Dec. 29, 2014

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