Legalized Marijuana in Louisiana Hits Another Bump in the Road
The majority of Louisiana residents say they want legalized recreational marijuana in our state, but legislation has hit another snag in the process.
Lawmakers recently convened in Baton Rouge in the House for the second time on this issue. However, they won't vote on the bill. Representative Richard Nelson, author of the legislation, pulled the bill from the floor of the House on Monday, citing that language in the bill needed to be changed to appease certain critics. If passed, the bill would decriminalize marijuana in Louisiana and make recreational use, growing, and selling cannabis legal.
Representative Nelson said some of the changes will include taking out the ability of Louisiana residents to grow marijuana at home and changing the amount of legal possession from two and a half pounds to two and a half ounces.
The main opposition of the bill is coming from local law enforcement agencies across the state and many parish district attorneys. Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi says he knows the state is eventually going to legalize marijuana, but he cautions we need more research and says the state should take it slow and not just open the floodgates all at once. Representative Nelson's rebuttal to that is that we already have over ten years of research from other states that legalized cannabis. He added there's no reason to hold off on the legislation.
Representative Nelson added that every state that legalized cannabis has never gone back and reversed the decision. According to Nelson, those states see benefits in legalization and are staying the course. He also said legalized marijuana sales could add another $100 million in tax revenue for Louisiana. He believes it will pass today when he introduces the reworked bill to the House.