Changes to marijuana laws among legislation taking effect

July 31, 2022 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Police in Louisiana can’t use the smell of marijuana as a reason for warrantless searches of homes under a law taking effect Monday.

It’s one of numerous laws with an effective date of Aug. 1 approved during the 2022 regular legislative session.

Other new laws overhaul regulation of medical marijuana, including changing the chief regulator of medical marijuana from the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry to the Louisiana Department of Health; and expanding the number of medical marijuana pharmacies allowed to operate in the state.

While a bill allowing most adults in Louisiana to carry a concealed firearm without a permit died, a law taking effect Monday allows military veterans and active-duty troops in Louisiana to carry concealed handguns without permits.

Another new law doubles fines for speeders on the Atchafalaya Basin bridge. Still another prohibits discrimination on the job, in housing or at school based on the way a person’s hair is styled.

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Also taking effect is legislation prohibiting transgender women and girls in Louisiana from competing on college and K-12 women’s and girls’ athletic teams. Gov. John Bel Edwards had vetoed such legislation in 2021, but the measure was passed by veto-proof majorities this year. Edwards allowed it to become law without his signature.