Gov. Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill
Governor John Bel Edwards signs legislation decriminalizing possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana. Once it takes effect August 1st possession under 14 grams cannot lead to jail time and comes with a maximum fine of 100 dollars.
Policy Director for Louisiana Progress Peter Robins-Brown advocated for decriminalization during the session and said this policy is a widely popular policy that creates more trust between law enforcement and their local community.
“I think it was practically a bad thing for law enforcement to be tasked with enforcing this incredibly unpopular law,” said Robins-Brown.
Decriminalization has historically been pushed by Democrats but Robins-Brown said this year it got a lot of Republican support that some found surprising.
“What we found with that support from lawmakers who people may not have expected to support it is that there is a very strong argument coming from a conservative-libertarian standpoint that there is no reason to lock people up for this,” said Robins-Brown.
Governor Edwards released a statement about the signing saying “I believe deeply that the state of Louisiana should no longer incarcerate people for minor legal infractions, especially those that are legal in many states.”