Marijuana Possession No Longer Criminal Offense In Louisiana, Cannabis Decriminalization Bill Goes Into Effect

Just over a month following Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards signing off on a bill to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession for personal use, the measure took effect.

As of Sunday, August 1, Louisianians caught possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis will face up to a $100 fine, but without jail time, Marijuana Moment reported.

Under House Bill 652, possession of smaller cannabis amounts is now classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

And while the measure removes the threat of incarceration for low-level possession, the governor has pushed back on the notion that it has decriminalized cannabis.

State Rep. Cedric Glover (D), who sponsored the decriminalization bill, has teamed up with advocacy group Louisiana Progress to work on an awareness campaign to educate and inform the public about the new reform via FAQ pamphlets they released. They are also using social media.

“When I saw two city council members in my hometown of Shreveport—one conservative and one progressive—come together to decriminalize personal-use marijuana possession there, I knew it was time to take this reform to the state level,” said Glover who represents the Shreveport area. “Criminalizing marijuana possession is harmful to the people of Louisiana in so many ways, but it’s been particularly harmful to Black and Brown communities, lower-income folks, and young people. My fervent hope is that this new law will finally bring some relief and a feeling of freedom to those communities.”

The governor has said in the past that he would not likely sign a bill to legalize recreational marijuana even though that reform “is going to happen in Louisiana eventually.

A Bill To Legalize Smokable Medical Marijuana

In June, Edwards signed another bill, enabling medical cannabis patients to legally smoke whole-plant marijuana flower.

The measure significantly expanded the state’s medical marijuana program, which previously only allowed patients to vaporize cannabis via a “metered-dose inhaler.”

Photo: Courtesy of Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Posted In: Cannabis DecriminalizationCedric GloverJohn Bell EdwardslouisianaLouisiana ProgressMarijuana MomentCannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneral

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.