Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Headed To Louisiana Governor
A bill authored by former Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover to decriminalize marijuana possession across the state has gained its final legislative passage in the Louisiana Senate. That means the bill is now a signature from Governor John Bel Edwards away from becoming law.
The bill would make the possession of up to 14 grams, or a half ounce, of marijuana a simple misdemeanor. The penalty would become a fine up to no more than $100, and no jail time. This would apply not just to first time offenders, this would be on repeat offenses as well. Essentially the bill would change the possession of 14 grams of marijuana to something more like a speeding or parking ticket, than a jailable offense.
For those who are unfamiliar with marijuana possession, 14 grams may be hard to visualize. How much marijuana is that? Here's a quick breakdown:
The legislation passed with bipartisan support. In the House, it won finale passage on a 68-25 vote, while in the Senate it needed 20 votes to pass...which is exactly how many it got. Those 20 votes in the Senate were bipartisan in nature as well, even down to a local level. Republican Minden Senator Robert Mills and Shreveport Democratic Senator Greg Tarver both voted to approve the measure. Mills was joined by 8 other Republican Senators in voting to approve the bill. All "no" votes on the bill were Republican.
Governor John Bel Edwards has not taken an official stance on this legislation, according to WBRZ. However if the Governor does sign it into law, this will be a major step in Louisiana when it comes to loosening up the backlog of cases in the judicial system.