Louisiana House Approves Legislation to Prohibit Smoking Cannabis in a Vehicle
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Louisiana House Approves Legislation to Prohibit Smoking Cannabis in a Vehicle

House Bill 234, which now heads to the Senate for consideration, would apply to drivers and passengers in moving vehicles.

April 7, 2022

Louisianians are prohibited from possessing non-medical cannabis while in a vehicle and from driving under the influence of cannabis, but the state’s current law leaves a glaring loophole—there is no law that prohibits drivers and passengers from smoking cannabis in moving vehicles.

Lawmakers are now aiming to address the issue with House Bill 234, which Rep. Laurie Schlegel, R-Metairie, introduced in February to do just that, according to the Louisiana Illuminator.

The House approved the measure April 6 in a 66-31 vote, the news outlet reported.

A new law took effect Jan. 1 to allow Louisiana’s medical cannabis patients to access flower, highlighting the fact that smoking behind the wheel is not technically illegal in the state.

H.B. 234 would classify smoking cannabis in a moving vehicle a primary offense, allowing law enforcement to stop anyone suspected of a violation, the Louisiana Illuminator reported.

Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, expressed concerns during the House floor debate Wednesday that the legislation could lead to more unwarranted police stops, according to the news outlet, while others opposed to the bill said law enforcement could mistake a cigarette or vaping device for cannabis when pulling over a vehicle.

Schlegel said that while law enforcement did not ask her to file the legislation, it has support from district attorneys, the Louisiana Illuminator reported.

H.B. 234 now heads to the Senate for consideration.