Rep wants marijuana legalized


NO VOTE WAS TAKEN NOR bills up for debate when Louisiana legislators met to consider the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical use.

The meeting of the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice was intended as informational only. It was organized at the request of State Representative Dalton Honore to discuss how feasible legalizing medicinal marijuana could be for Louisiana.

During the nearly four-hour long meeting, officials, law enforcement and the public passionately portrayed their sides of the debate on legalizing the drug.

Honore, who is also a member of the Criminal Justice Committee, is in favor of a study that would consider the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

Medical marijuana is available in 18 states. Louisiana legislators passed a law in 1991 that makes it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana, but it’s against the law for patients to fill it.

In a recent public policy poll, more than half of the people who live in Louisiana said they would support changing laws to regulate and tax the drug.

According to out of the 1,372 Louisianans incarcerated on marijuana possession charges, more than 78 percent are Black with an average sentence is 8.4 years.

State lawmakers are set to discuss reducing penalties for simple marijuana possession on March 10 during 2014 legislative session.