Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Heads to Governor Edwards’ Desk
A proposed bill to decriminalize marijuana in Louisiana has been passed by the State House and Senate and is now being sent to Governor Edwards for final approval.
Have you ever thought to yourself that it would be a cold day in hell before Louisiana embraced marijuana? The overwhelming support for the flower among Louisiana residents has been heard in Baton Rouge. State lawmakers in the House and Senate have passed a proposed bill that will decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Rep. Cedric Glover, of Shreveport, authored the bill. The Louisiana House first passed the proposed bill by a 68-25 vote and the Senate voted to give the bill final passage with 20-17 majority. The proposed bill would make possession of half an ounce of marijuana a misdemeanor offense that carries a fine of $100 and no jail time, even for repeat offenders.
Supporter say this will help the state's court system not get bogged down with minor offenses so they can focus on violent crimes and offenders. Some local law enforcement agencies across the state have long been offering fines for small amounts of marijuana in possession rather than clogging up their jails and courts.
Opponents of the proposed bill argue that marijuana can cause brain damage and they say it's a gateway drug that leads to addiction and violent crime.
Governor John Bel Edwards has not spoken publicly on whether he will veto the proposed bill or sign it into law.