According to a report in the Shreveport Times, the Shreveport City Council is considering steps to decriminalize small-scale cannabis possession. Under this proposal, 18-year-olds caught using less than 14 grams will be fined $50 instead of imprisoned.

The measure was proposed last week by council members John Nickelson and Tabatha Taylor and prepared in conjunction with Mayor Adrian Perkins.

Medical cannabis was not available in the state until August 2019.

Our government (it seems) can allow the pharmaceutical industry to sell marijuana and make millions and millions of dollars, but we still lose too many of our young people to marijuana possession charges. – Perkins in the Times.

Under current state law, the penalty for 14 grams or less is $300 and 15 days in jail for a first offense; $500 and six months in jail for a second offense; $2,500 and up to two years in jail with hard labor for a third offense; and $5,000 and eight years in jail with hard labor for a fourth or subsequent offense, depending on the law, as described by the Times.

A recent report based on data from the American Civil Liberties Union found that blacks in Louisiana are 3.4 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than their white counterparts.

Nickelson noted in the Times that sentences imposed under the municipal code cannot be used as the basis for an enhanced sentence under state law.

If approved, Shreveport would be the third city in the state to pass a cannabis reform law. City Council meeting on the 23rd. The March elections.

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Author:

TG Branfalt

TG joined the team in 2014 as news editor and began hosting the podcast in 2016. He lives in upstate New York, where he also teaches media studies at a local university.

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