Bill to decriminalize marijuana in Louisiana Senate

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – A invoice to decriminalize small quantities of marijuana is now within the Louisiana Senate however its drawing sturdy emotions from individuals and police.

The invoice would make having as much as 14 grams of marijuana a misdemeanor with a $100 wonderful and no jail time, even for repeat offenses. The invoice is drawing blended opinions.

“It supplies for the decriminalization, decriminalization statewide of marijuana with 14 grams or much less so it eliminates any likelihood of a legal penalty or replaces it with a wonderful,” stated the President of Louisiana Hashish Retailers Affiliation, Tim Hitt.

Nonetheless, Fourth Judicial District Legal professional Steve Tew stated if somebody fails to pay the wonderful they might nonetheless face jail time.

Hitt stated it will be a step in the proper path for Louisiana.

“Retaining individuals not having a legal report, proper. In order that’s the primary factor as a result of easy possession arrest with marijuana can have an effect on education, it may possibly have an effect on jobs, anything, even getting an residence. So it’s a superb transfer. It’s an excellent social transfer for the general public to have,” stated Hitt.

He stated Louisiana has the second-highest incarceration fee within the nation and this invoice would assist cut back the jail inhabitants.

“It’s a disgrace to place individuals in jail for one thing that in 12 different states, it’s completely authorized and individuals are making a revenue off of it,” stated Hitt.

West Monroe Police Chief Jeff Terrell stated he’s involved about impaired drivers on the street.

“At the moment, you realize, we work quite a lot of DWI’S. Sometimes, most of our DWI’s are from alcohol. However right here, you realize, the previous few years, it’s progressed in the direction of medicine and in the direction of marijuana,” stated Chief Terrell.

Chief Terrell stated in addition they don’t have sufficient assets to implement it. He stated a drug recognition knowledgeable should decide if somebody has been driving beneath the affect of marijuana. He stated his division solely has a kind of… plus the sheriff’s workplace and state police solely have a pair.

Terrell stated somewhat than decriminalizing marijuana, they need to take a look at what’s inflicting individuals to need to get excessive.

“Is it a psychological well being difficulty, dependancy points? These are issues that we must be attempting to unravel,” stated Terrell.

Proper now, having as much as 14 grams of marijuana carries a $300 wonderful and as much as 15 days in jail in your first offense.

Copyright 2021 KNOE. All rights reserved.

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