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Marijuana decriminalization bill wins La. House support

Marijuana Legalization
Posted at 8:19 PM, May 11, 2021

The Louisiana House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 67-25 to approve a bill proposing to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

HB652, authored by Rep. Cedric Glover, would reduce the maximum penalty to a $100 fine for any possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana and take away the possibility of jail time. Offenders would instead be issued a summons.

According to our media partners at The Advocate, the bill drew significant support from Republicans and little debate. Similar measures have failed repeatedly to gain traction in prior years.

Louisiana law currently states people can face up to $300 or 15 days in jail for the first conviction of possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana. After that, the penalties increase.

The measure isn’t as sweeping as a separate proposal by Republican Rep. Richard Nelson of St. Tammany Parish that would create a framework for legalizing recreational marijuana and allow its sale around the state. Tuesday’s vote may signal the end of consideration of the broader proposal.

The bill now heads to the Senate for debate.

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