We're writing to send a correction and a handful of updates:
- Correction: The 6-5 committee vote tally was incomplete — it did not include Chair Ted James’ vote in favor. The final committee vote on HB 524 (Rep. Richard Nelson’s legalization bill) was 7-5.
- You can find our updated summary of the bill, as amended yesterday, here.
- After the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee approved HB 524, it passed another legalization bill — Rep. Candace Newell’s HB 243 — in a 6-5 vote. Both bills are headed to the House floor and could receive a vote as early as next week.
- The House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee hearing on HB 652, is being rescheduled for next week. It would reduce the penalty for up to 14 grams of cannabis to a $50 fine, or an alternate penalty in lieu of a fine for those who can’t pay.
- Speaker Tanner McGee’s bill to allow medical cannabis in its natural, raw form (HB 391) is out of committee and has been scheduled for a floor debate on May 3.
Make sure to let your lawmakers know where you stand on these important bills to roll back Louisiana’s war on marijuana! You can write your lawmakers in support of legalization here, or contact them in support of allowing flower medical cannabis here.
Great news! In a 6-5 vote, the Louisiana House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee voted to advance Rep. Richard Nelson’s bill to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older. It now heads to the full House of Representatives!
This is the first time a legislative committee in Louisiana has voted to legalize marijuana.
Ask your state lawmakers to support this sensible measure.
Before the vote, Rep. Nelson amended his bill based on legal advice. It had initially included a voter-referral, but he was advised that Louisiana lawmakers cannot delegate this type of policy decision to voters.
Despite two-to-one popular support for legalization in Louisiana, the witnesses at committee were lopsided in opposition. Several members of law enforcement signed up in opposition and peddled misleading information — including falsely claiming teen marijuana use goes up after legalization.
In the face of powerful opposition, it is extremely important that state representatives hear that their constituents want them to end the disastrous war on marijuana.
Send your state legislators an email today and spread the word on social media. Let them know it’s past time Louisiana stop tearing apart families over cannabis, and that it instead should start creating good jobs and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues to improve the wellbeing of the state’s residents.