Possessing personal amounts of cannabis in New Orleans will no longer be considered a criminal offense as of June 21, 2016. The New Orleans city council approved the ordinance on March 17, and Mayor Landrieu signed it on March 23.
The ordinance, introduced by council member Susan Guidry, allows law enforcement offers in The Big Easy to write offenders tickets in lieu of making arrests. Any issued marijuana possession tickets may also come with fines. First time offenders may receive a ticket with a fine of $40, the second time the fine increases to $60, and the third time increases to $80. If a person is caught in possession four or more times, they may be responsible for paying a fine of $100.
Personal possession is considered to be any amount of 14 grams or less (about one-half an ounce).
While the city of New Orleans is practicing policy reform, state law remains the same. This means that technically, officers can still arrest anyone for possession. Smoking cannabis in public will also remain illegal.