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NOLA: Act now to wipe out 15,000 cannabis convictions

Jun 28, 2021

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Ask your councilmembers to support Councilmember Moreno’s cannabis “full decriminalization” ordinances.

“It is the policy of the Council of the City of New Orleans, that the arrest, prosecution, and punishment of individuals solely charged with simple possession of marijuana presents greater harm to the health, safety, and welfare of the City than the act of possession itself.”
— Proposed ordinance 33,328

In 2016, the New Orleans City Council passed an ordinance to “decriminalize” cannabis possession, replacing possible jail time with a modest fine. Advocates hoped the tickets issued would not count as a conviction for purposes of collateral consequences — such as related to student loans and job applications. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.

City Council President Helena Moreno has proposed an ordinance to remove the scarlet letters that have derailed the dreams of more than 15,000 individuals for being caught possessing a plant that is safer than alcohol. It would also pardon all future offenses, after they occur.

New Orleans can’t completely legalize cannabis locally, but this would come close.

Please take a moment to write your City Councilmembers in support and to spread the word to others. Our advocacy software makes it quick and easy.

The City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee will hear Council President Moreno’s proposals tomorrow — Tuesday, June 29 — at 2 p.m. You can also submit public comment here.

Many thanks to Council President Moreno and Kevin Caldwell and CommonSenseNOLA for spearheading this effort. And to each of you for your support for humane cannabis policies!