Louisiana House Passes Cannabis Decriminalization Bill

Lawmakers in Louisiana’s House approved a measure to decriminalize the possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis, limiting potential punishments to a $100 fine and no jail time.

Full story after the jump.

The Louisiana House has passed a measure to decriminalize cannabis possession up to 14 grams which would limit the fine to $100 and no jail time, the Lafayette Daily Advertiser reports. The bill passed the chamber 67-25 and moves next to the Senate.

Democratic Rep. Cedric Glover, the bill’s sponsor, described the measure as “common ground” and said he was inspired to introduce the measure following similar reforms in his hometown of Shreveport. Republican Rep. Alan Seabaugh, also from Shreveport, introduced the amendment which set the penalties outlined in the legislation.

The proposal does not change the penalties for cannabis distribution.

The chamber is also set to consider today a bill to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state. That debate has been twice delayed by the bill sponsor, Republican Rep. Richard Nelson, because he didn’t have the votes to pass the reforms.

A poll released in March from JMC Analytics and Polling found 67% of Louisianans support legalizing adult-use cannabis – a 13% increase from polling by the firm on the topic last year.

The poll found 60% of Republicans supported legalizing cannabis use and possession, along with 67% of Democrats and 79% of those registered with another party and independents. The majority of Democrats (66%) and Republicans (56%) also said they were more likely to support a candidate that backs broad legalization.

Earlier this month, the chamber approved a measure to allow smokable forms of medical cannabis. The JMC poll found A supermajority of respondents (75%) favored allowing smokable forms of cannabis in the state’s medical cannabis program.

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