On Tuesday legislation was filed in Louisiana which would lower the subsequent penalties associated with possessing cannabis in the state- a state where possession laws are some of the harshest in the country.
Under current law, an individual’s 2nd cannabis possession charge nets a conviction of up to 5 years in prison. Those with a 3rd possession charge in the state face up to 20 years in prison, regardless of the amount possessed.
Under the new proposal, House Bill 103, these penalties would be greatly reduced, and cannabis possession would be removed as an offense that carries with it mandatory minimum sentences. If the measure passes, a 2nd cannabis possession offense would be changed to carry with it a maximum sentence of 1 year, rather than 5. A 3rd cannabis offense would be altered to have a maximum sentence of 2 years, rather than the absurd 20 years.
Finally, it would set the maximum sentence for a 4th offense at 5 years; currently an individual in the state can get life in prison for such a charge.
The bill is sponsored by Austin J. Badon, Jr., a Democrat from New Orleans, and has been referred to the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.