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One of the hottest debates in the country over the past few years is whether or not marijuana should be decriminalized and legalized. By the end of next year, 20 states will have legalized recreational marijuana. On a national level, the House is set to vote on a bill that potentially could removed marijuana from the controlled substance list and help those who have been arrested or are currently in jail on marijuana possession charges. Slowly but surely, the times are a changing when it comes to marijuana and the way we view the drug. The only question now is if Louisiana will be ahead of or behind the curve.

Shreveport businessman, Cameron Meshell, founded a hemp based company called Farmington Research. Meshell claims to be working on a "comprehensive recreational Marijuana bill here in Louisiana". Meshell says that if Louisiana acts now, it could help the state financially with not only tax revenue but jobs. He says that Oklahoma has added over 10,000 jobs since legalizing marijuana, but warns that if the bayou state waits for the drug to be legalized federally, it could cost us tons of jobs and opportunity.

You can read Meshell's post below:

I want you all to know several of us are working to make recreational marijuana a reality here. It’s terribly frustrating. This is not a self serving endeavor on my part. What we are doing will help other businesses and it will absolutely create jobs. (Did you know that Oklahoma has created almost 10,000 jobs with their Cannabis program?)
We are in the process of drafting a comprehensive recreational Marijuana bill here in Louisiana. Once drafted, It’s up us. We the people!
We are going to need your help reaching out to your local representative to drive home the highlights of this bill - It’s basically a jobs bill.
By the end of next year 20 states will have recreational marijuana. Obviously we aren’t on the list, but we desperately need to be. If the feds legalize before Louisiana we will not be in a good position to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. (I was on the phone this morning with an excise tax policy expert in DC. Louisiana is in bad shape.)
Legalization will eventually be forced on the state if we wait on the feds, which is why we need to act now. Louisiana MUST LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA BEFORE THE FEDs. We must implement our own tax policy and open the door to economic recovery.

In recent years, Louisiana has legalized medical marijuana and has gone as far as to expand its applications and usage. However, so far, it appears that the Governor nor most legislators have any interest in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. However, with the financial short comings and job loss due to the coronavirus, their opinions on the matter may have changed.

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