Governor signs bill reducing penalty for small amounts of marijuana
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill Tuesday that will prevent prison sentences for anyone caught with small amounts of marijuana.
House Bill 652, which earned passage in the Louisiana House and Senate in the 2021 legislative session means anyone with 14 grams or less of marijuana will face a maximum penalty of a $100 fine.
"This is not a decision I took lightly. In addition to carefully reviewing the bill, I also believe deeply that the state of Louisiana should no longer incarcerate people for minor legal infractions, especially those that are legal in many states, that can ruin lives and destroy families, as well as cost taxpayers greatly," Governor Edwards said in a statement Tuesday. "This measure passed Louisiana’s Legislature with bipartisan support following a robust discussion of the toll of over incarceration on our people and our state. Taking this action is another step forward for Louisiana’s criminal justice reform efforts.”
While lawmakers agreed to reduce criminal penalties for marijuana, the latest effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Louisiana fell short this year.
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