Decrim bill clears Louisiana legislature

Posted on June 9th, 2021 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

LouisianaThe Louisiana Senate voted 20-17 on June 7 to lift criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis. Introduced by Rep. Cedric Glover (D-Shreveport), HB 652 was overwhelmingly approved by the House in a 68-25 vote in last month. It now await the signature of Gov. John Bel Edwards.

State law currently imposes criminal penalties for a first conviction of possession of 14 grams—about a half-ounce—or less: a fine of up to $300, imprisonment for up to 15 days, or both. The proposed law would reduce those penalties to a fine of not more than $100, with no possibility of imprisonment, even for repeat offenders. Further, penalties would not increase to the felony level with subsequent convictions, as is mandated by current law. For possession of more than 14 grams, the bill keeps in place the current penalties: a fine of up to $500, up to six months in prison, or both.

Additionally, the bill authorizes courts to determine whether defendants are indigent and give those offenders options for payment plans or community service as an alternative.

Gov. Edwards, a Democrat, has yet to take a public position on the measure. (Jurist, Lafayette Daily Advertiser)

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