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Louisiana: House Lawmakers Take No Action on Measure To Reduce Marijuana Penalties

Lawmakers failed to act on HB 14, which would have reduced sentencing guidelines for repeat marijuana offenders before the deadline for action in this year's legislative session. 

Under present law, second-time marijuana offenders face up to five years imprisonment and a $2,000 fine. Subsequent offenders face up to 20 years in prison. These disproportionate penalties are among the strictest in the country.

According to a September 2013 statewide survey by Public Policy Polling, 53 percent of respondents endorsed regulating and taxing cannabis for those age 21 and older, and 56 percent imposing fine-only citations for marijuana. Obviously, Louisiana’s present penalties are out-of-step with public opinion.

NORML will keep you updated when/if lawmakers revisit this issue next year.

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