Louisiana and The Big Easy can conjure up thoughts of a thriving party scene. But while drinking Hurricanes out in public is fine, cocaine use is not. Drug laws can be a touchy area of the law. The government tries to balance keeping our communities safe while recognizing how addiction can come into play. Cocaine, in both powdered form and as crack, is one of the state's most heavily trafficked illegal drugs.
Louisiana has battled cocaine trafficking for years. Primarily due to the increased violence surrounding cocaine distribution and use, Louisiana authorities crack down heavily on both sale and possession of cocaine.
Cocaine Statutes in Louisiana
The charges and penalties under Louisiana's cocaine laws are listed below.
||§§40:961, et seq.
||Under 28 g.: 5 yrs. with or without hard labor and $5,000; 28-200 g.: 10-60 yrs. hard labor and $50,000 to $150,000; 200-400 g.: 20-60 yrs. hard labor and $100,000 to $350,000; Over 400 g.: 30-60 yrs. hard labor and $250,000 to $600,000
||5-30 yrs. hard labor and/or up to $50,000; Sale to minors by persons over 25: life imprisonment; Sale to minors by those at least 3 yrs. his junior: double penalties
||Production or manufacturing cocaine base: 40-99 yrs. hard labor without parole or suspension and up to $500,000 fine
Remember that there are both Louisiana state statutes as well as federal laws on the books. Federal drug laws prohibit simple cocaine possession along with manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution. As seen above, penalties for cocaine possession or sale can be severe and generally vary depending on whether you have prior drug convictions and the quantity of drugs involved.
In some cases, prosecutors can offer a plea bargain to a lower-level offender in exchange for helping to build a case against higher-level producers and dealers. In addition, some jurisdictions also have recently created specialized “drug courts” that allow first or second-time drug crime defendants to spend time in treatment in lieu of a jail sentence.
Louisiana Cocaine Laws: Related Resources
Our societal norms regarding drugs and the state laws that reflect them are changing every day. For additional resources and introductory information on this topic, you can visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section. You can also contact a Louisiana drug crime attorney if you would like legal help regarding a drug case or in understanding local drug laws. If you or someone you know has been struggling with drug addiction or a substance abuse problem, the first step is to reach out for help.