The Louisiana State Senate passed legislation Monday aimed at decriminalizing marijuana in the state.
Bill 652, introduced by State Representative Cedric Glover (D), passed in the upper house by 20-17 votes on Monday. The bill was already passed by the state parliament last month in an irresistible vote, 68-25.
If signed into law, the bill will reduce criminal penalties for possession of marijuana by no more than 14 grams. In cases where the offender holds up to this amount, he will be fined no more than $ 100. The law would apply to cases where the offender was convicted of a first sentence or a subsequent sentence.
Under current law, an offender can be fined up to three times this amount for the same crime in a first sentence as a prison sentence.
Democrats advocating the measure say the state̵
“I’m not here to talk about the pros and cons of whether marijuana should be legal in Louisiana,” State Senator Jay Luno (D) told The Advocate.
“It is common sense to take care of a problem that is bothering us across the country. We are spending thousands, probably millions of dollars … detaining people in prison for crimes they should not be in prison for, ”Luno added.
So far, nearly 30 states and Washington, D.C., have passed similar legislation decriminalizing small amounts of weed, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.
The passage comes shortly after the House reintroduced legislation to legalize marijuana at the federal level, as well as to abolish some marijuana convictions for nonviolent criminals.