Louisiana: Lawmakers Pass Partial Decriminalization Measure

Baton Rouge, LA: House and Senate lawmakers have passed legislation eliminating the possibility of jail time for low-level marijuana possession crimes.

House Bill 652 amends state law so that offenses involving the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana for non-medical purposes is punishable by a fine of no more than $100 – no arrest and no jail time. The fine-penalty remains in place regardless of whether the offender has any prior marijuana convictions. 

Enhanced penalties and jail time remain in place for repeat offenders who are convicted of possessing more than 14 grams of marijuana. 

Once the bill is transmitted to Governor John Bel Edwards (D), he has 20 days to either sign or veto it. The bill can also become law absent the Governor’s signature.

If approved, the reduced penalties will take effect on August 1, 2021.

For more information, contact NORML State Policies Manager, Carly Wolf.