Thank you for visiting MPP’s Louisiana Cannabis Policy Voter Guide for the state’s open primary1 on October 14, 2023! We will update this guide in advance of any runoffs — which only apply to seats where no candidate gets more than 50% — on November 18, 2023.
Louisiana doesn’t have a citizen initiative process, so the only path to legalization runs through the state legislature and governor. With Gov. John Bel Edwards termed out and the full legislature on the ballot, October 14 will shape the prospects of reform for years to come.
Louisiana has made it very easy to register to vote online. Sample ballots can be found here. To put aside any misinformation, registering to vote does not make you more likely to be chosen for jury service. To be safe, please register by September 13, 2023, so you can vote in the open primaries on October 14. For many legislative seats, October 14 will be the only election. Early voting begins September 30.
We’ve graded each candidate based on their cannabis policy record and/or stances on reform. We emailed a survey to all candidates that qualified to run for office. Roughly 50 candidates responded to our survey. The survey can be found here. If the candidate held office in the last four-year term, we also chose nine bills (five criminal justice reform and four medical) to evaluate their voting record. We used that in addition to survey responses to grade each candidate. A legislator must be open to adult-use legalization to be graded with an “A.” If a legislator has been an opponent to legalization and medical use of cannabis, they were graded “F.” If they failed to respond to our survey and have no voting record, they received an “incomplete.”
Look up your state district numbers here, then check out our voter guides at these links:
We hope this guide will help you make educated decisions concerning who has earned your vote in this crucial election. Please spread the word to other voters, too. Odd-year elections often have low voter turnouts, and a single vote has decided state legislative races in some cases.
The winning candidates will guide our state policy for the next four years, so we hope you are as excited as we are to cast our ballot!
1 An open primary means a primary where voters don’t have to vote for members of a single party or declare their party. In Louisiana, if a district has two Republicans and a Democrat running and the two Republicans get the most votes, but less than 50% in the primary, they would both go to a run-off, despite being in the same party. In that scenario, if any of the three candidates got 51% of the vote on October 14, they would win without a runoff.