Bill decreasing marijuana sentencing passes House committee
BATON ROUGE - A House legal committee approved a bill that could lower the maximum sentence for repeat marijuana possession from 20 years to eight years.
But a measure to ask Louisiana voters if pot should be legal was widely opposed and withdrawn without debate.
Rep. Austin Badon, a New Orleans Democrat, says current marijuana sentences are "severe and egregious," punishing people who are "hurting only themselves."
His proposal to lessen sentences passed on a 10-4 vote and goes to the full House for consideration.
Rep. Dalton W. Honoré, a Baton Rouge Democrat, voluntarily withdrew his bill calling for an election on marijuana legalization. Honoré says times are changing and the Legislature needs to have a serious conversation about marijuana laws.