Lawmakers vote to lessen Louisiana's marijuana penalties
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers have agreed to lower Louisiana's tough penalties for marijuana possession, ending the possibility someone could be jailed 20 years for repeatedly getting caught with small amounts of the drug.
With a 74-19 vote Monday, the House gave final passage to the proposal by Rep. Austin Badon, a New Orleans Democrat. Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal says he supports the measure and will sign it into law.
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 caught with less than 2.5 pounds. The maximum penalty on later offenses would drop from 20 years in prison to eight years.
Badon called it a "smart approach to sentencing reform."