Bill to lower Louisiana's marijuana penalties OK'd by Senate
BATON ROUGE - State senators have agreed to lessen Louisiana's penalties for simple possession of marijuana, to remove provisions that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeatedly getting caught with small amounts of pot.
The Senate voted 27-12 Monday for the proposal by Sen. J.P. Morrell, a New Orleans Democrat.
Morrell worked with sheriffs and district attorneys on a compromise. While neither group backed Morrell's bill, they also didn't object. That was enough to move the measure to the House for consideration.
Someone caught with less than 14 grams of marijuana would face up to 15 days in jail under the bill and up to six months if less than 2.5 pounds. The maximum penalty on later offenses would drop from 20 years in prison to eight years.