Today, Louisiana’s state lawmakers convene in Baton Rouge for their 2020 legislative session. Already more than a dozen bills are pending to improve the state’s cannabis policies.
Proposals have been introduced to regulate marijuana for adults’ use, to allow local legalization, to decriminalize simple possession, and to improve the state’s medical marijuana program in various ways — including by allowing whole plant cannabis and expanding qualifying conditions.
Here’s a snapshot at some of the bills that have been introduced:
- Rep. Edmond Jordan’s HB 626 would set up a system of legal, regulated cannabis sales to adults 21 and older along with permits for personal cultivation. (Unfortunately, it does not appear to remove criminal penalties.)
- Rep. Ted James’ HB 546 would put a state constitutional amendment on Louisiana’s November 2020 ballot to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older.
- Rep. Cedric Glover's HB 346 would put a state constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot to allow localities to legalize marijuana.
- Rep. C. Denise Marcelle’s HB 49 would reduce cannabis possession penalties, including by decriminalizing first-offense possession of up to 14 grams. The current penalty includes up to 15 days in jail.
- Rep. Ted James’ HB 385 would allow whole plant/flower medical cannabis.
- Rep. Ted James’ HB 386 would allow physicians to recommend cannabis for any condition that is debilitating to the individual patient
- Rep. Jeremy LaCombe’s HB 455 would allow people receiving hospice or palliative care to qualify for medical cannabis.
- Rep. Rodney Lyons’ HB 330 would add chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia as a qualifying condition.
- Rep. Joe Marino’s HB 158 would allow Alzheimer's, ALS, and a few other neurodegenerative diseases to qualify for medical cannabis.
- Sen. Gerald Boudreaux's SB 267 would remove the sunset on the medical cannabis program.
After voicing your support for marijuana policy reform, please spread the word so that others can join the chorus for humane and sensible marijuana laws!
What’s older than Florida’s senior population? The Florida Legislature’s mindset when it comes to marijuana.
Last Friday, the state Senate voted 31-2 in favor of a bill that would ban the sale of assorted pipes, bongs, and hookahs. House Bill 49 passed in the House days earlier by a vote of 112-3.
Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), one of the few dissenting voices in the Senate, argued that marijuana is far safer than other drugs and should be allowed under strict regulation.
The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature. If signed, vendors will be criminalized, the sale of various pipes will become a first-degree misdemeanor, and any subsequent violation will jump to a third-degree felony.
Out-of-touch lawmakers don’t seem to realize that House Bill 49 will do nothing to curb marijuana use. In their quest to harass responsible marijuana users, the Florida Legislature has only harmed legitimate business people.