Should Louisiana Clear All Pot Arrests? New Bill Could Make it So
It's a fair question: Now that medical marijuana is legal in Louisiana, what happens to folks that were arrested for having weed before the law took effect? Sure, it's easy to say "well, they broke the law," but if we are going to accept that some folks have a legitimate medical reason for consuming cannabis, don't we have to assume that even some of those using it illegally were doing it for a good reason?
Those are some difficult questions to answer, but at least one Louisiana lawmaker thinks that saddling people with a criminal record that could negatively affect them for the rest of their lives for something that is legal now just isn't fair.
Louisiana State Representative and former Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover has proposed a bill that would that would expunge the criminal records of some residents who were arrested for marijuana possession. House Bill 774 would allow officials to expunge (which means to remove from public access, not totally erase) certain misdemeanor charges of possession under a certain amount.
If it passes, this would open doors to jobs that would otherwise be unavailable to candidates with a record. According to a report from Fox 8 Live, the new law would also remove the fees usually associated with expungement, which could be as high as $550 for the court costs alone.