It's 4/20 -- where does Louisiana stand on legal marijuana?

Chris Miller
April 20, 2018 - 8:24 am

Today's date is 4-20, a term that has become symbolic for marijuana smokers.

Legal marijuana in Louisiana? Don't count on it happening anytime soon, although the debate continues. 

The push for legalizing marijuana has grown loud enough that even some lawmakers are starting to pay attention, like Baton Rouge Democrat Edmond Jordan, who says the tax revenue from marijuana could be a boon to the state.

"I would think that it would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars right now," said Jordan, who pointed out that people are going to smoke it anyway, no matter what the law says: "I think it's naive to think that people aren't smoking marijuana. Right now we just have all these restrictions and prohibitions on it. We're driving it underground."

But Gov. John Bel Edwards says the lure of new tax revenue, even with the massive fiscal shortfall the state is faced with, is not enough.

"The idea that we could regulate it and tax it and solve some part of our budget problems is not appealing enough to me to overcome my resistance to it," said Edwards. "I think it's a far wiser thing to do to sit back, watch what happens in other states that have taken this action, and see what the benefits are."

Eight states and Washington, DC, have passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana use. Later this year, non-smokable medical marijuana products will become available at select pharmacies around Louisiana.

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