Marijuana decriminalization took effect in Louisiana on Sunday—and advocates and lawmakers are working to ensure that residents know what they can and cannot do without going to jail under the new law. Governor John Bell Edwards (D) signed the legislation in June, and he emphasized that it was “not a decision I took lightly,” but he recognized that criminalization has had significant consequences for families and taxpayers. Under the law, possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis is now punishable by a $100 fine, without the threat of jail time. The governor has pushed back against the definition of the policy as “decriminalization,” but that’s exactly how advocates define policies that remove the threat of incarceration for low-level possession. Now, the sponsor of the decriminalization bill, Rep. Cedric Glover (D), is partnering with the advocacy group Louisiana Progress on an awareness campaign to educate people about the new reform. They’ve already put out a FAQ on the law and will be using social media and other informational materials to inform the public while also engaging in outreach to law enforcement and legislators. Louisiana Progress says lawmakers shouldn’t stop at simple decriminalization and should enact broader cannabis legalization in an upcoming session.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 08/02/2021 12:27:00