House Bill 149 reduces the penalty for someone caught possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis to a maximum sentence of 15 days in jail, whereas it’s currently a maximum sentence of 6 months. The penalty for a second cannabis possession offense will be reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 6 months, compared to a maximum sentence of 5 year prison as it is currently. The penalty for a third cannabis possession offense would be reduced to a maximum sentence of 2 years, with the fourth offense being a maximum jail sentence of 8 years; under current law, a person’s third and subsequent offenses can result in 20 years in prison.
A new Public Policy Poll has found that 53% of those in Louisiana support the recreational legalization of cannabis for adults 21 and older; only 37% of respondents stated that they oppose such a move.
“People understand that criminalizing marijuana has wasted public funds, has not made anyone safer, and that marijuana is not the danger it was thought to be,” says Marjorie R. Esman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana