Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Penalties for Cannabis Possession, Allow Expungement of Cannabis Offenses

louisianaLouisiana’s’ full Senate has voted 27 to 12 to pass Senate Bill 241, a proposal to reduce the penalties for possessing cannabis, while allowing those with just one cannabis possession charge to have it removed from their records.

The proposal, sponsored by Senator J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans), would reduce the maximum penalty for someone caught possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis to a 15 day jail sentence and a $300 fine, whereas it’s currently a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

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Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungement of Cannabis Convictions

prettybudsIn a unanimous vote, Louisiana’s Senate Judiciary Committee has given approval to legislation that would drastically reduce the penalties associated with an individuals second and third cannabis possession offense, while allowing those with just one offense to have the charge expunged from their record.

The proposal, sponsored by Senator J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans), would save the state up to $16 million a year by reducing the penalty for a second cannabis possession offense to a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 6 months; under current law an individuals second offense is a felony with a potential 5 year prison sentence. The measure would reduce the penalty for a third cannabis possession offense to a felony with a maximum sentence of 4 years, rather than a maximum of 20 as it currently stands.

Read moreLouisiana Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Cannabis Penalties, Allow Expungement of Cannabis Convictions