Louisiana lawmakers on Tuesday killed a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reports. The House Criminal Justice Committee voted down the proposal 9-4.
The measure was opposed by the state’s sheriffs, district attorneys, and police chiefs over public safety concerns and the impact of legalization on children.
Ken Caldwell of the Marijuana Policy Project estimated that the state supports an illicit cannabis market of at least $1 billion.
During testimony, state Rep. Candace Newell (R) argued that the 1937 federal ban on cannabis was enacted due to “racism, bigotry and fear-mongering” after a national propaganda campaign that stoked fears of Black musicians “smoking reefers” and “raping white women.”
“We should not still be criminalizing people when in other states their economy is flourishing.” — Newell via the Daily Advertiser
During his testimony, Will Hall of the Louisiana Baptist Office of Public Policy, said “It’s not worth mortgaging the future of our youth to create tax revenue.”
Louisiana does allow medical cannabis use and last year lawmakers downgraded possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis for personal use to a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine and no jail time.
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