Louisiana to make history with new law decriminalizing marijuana

Louisiana

A man smokes a joint during a demonstration for the decriminalization of cannabis. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — Louisiana Progress and State Rep. Cedric Glover, who sponsored the bill to decriminalize marijuana in the legislature, are teaming up to promote an FAQ on the new law and to launch an awareness campaign to help Louisianans know their new rights.

On Sunday, August 1, Louisiana will finally join the ranks of U.S. states that have reformed their marijuana laws when Act 247 (House Bill 652) goes into effect.

Starting on that date, possession of 14 grams or less of marijuana will be punishable by a fine of up to $100 or a court summons, without the possibility for jail or prison time, no matter how many times someone is arrested for possessing that amount.

Nearly 20 states have legalized marijuana, and another dozen have decriminalized its possession to some extent.

By passing House Bill 652, the Louisiana legislature acknowledged that the time has come to rethink how we punish people for using marijuana.

“Marijuana decriminalization will truly make a difference in the lives of the people of our state,” according to Peter Robins-Brown, policy & advocacy director at Louisiana Progress. “It’s an important first step in modernizing marijuana policy in Louisiana, and it’s another milestone in the ongoing effort to address our incarceration crisis, which has trapped so many people in a cycle of poverty and prison. Now it’s time to make sure that everyone knows their rights under this new law, and that law enforcement officers understand how to properly implement it.”

Rep. Glover and Louisiana Progress worked together to answer some FAQs. You can find that FAQ sheet here.

They will also be launching an awareness campaign to promote the new law, which will include a social media push, more informational materials, outreach to law enforcement agencies and local elected officials, and, eventually in-person events.

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