On Monday, the Louisiana Senate voted to pass HB 652 — which would reduce the penalty for possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis to a fine of up to $100. The House already passed the bill, so it now heads to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk.
Email Gov. Edwards today ask him to sign this important reform into law.
Louisiana was the incarceration capital of the United States until recently. While the legislature has reduced several penalties, many continue to be jaw-droppingly harsh and tear families apart. Under current law, a first offense for possessing up to 14 grams carries up to 15 days in jail. The penalty increases for additional convictions, and a fourth or subsequent simple possession offense carries up to eight years in jail.
Please ask Gov. Edwards to reduce this vastly disproportionate penalty by signing HB 652 into law.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard for humane cannabis policies in Louisiana, including Louisiana Progress — which led the charge on legalization and decriminalization advocacy this year; Kevin Caldwell and Common Sense NOLA, whose trailblazing local decriminalization efforts laid the foundation for statewide reform; and Sensible Marijuana Policy for Louisiana, who have been key to medical cannabis progress and broader reform over the years. We are also so grateful to Rep. Cedric Glover for sponsoring the bill.
P.S. In other news, the bill to allow medical cannabis flower — HB 391 — is now headed to Gov. Edwards, too! Meanwhile, the Senate gutted and replaced the bill to tax medical cannabis flower, HB 514. The House did not concur, so that bill is headed to conference.