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Louisiana Sheriffs Foil Proposal to Lessen Marijuana Penalities

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While some Louisiana lawmakers are working to reduce marijuana penalties across the state, a proposal aimed at softening pot laws was choked out last week by Louisiana sheriffs.

Michael Ranatza, the head of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association says the legislation introduced by Representative Austin Badon is a road to legalizing marijuana in Louisiana and that lawmakers needs to gather more data on the effects of “decriminalization” before moving forward with the bill.

Feeling as though he had been blindsided by the testimony, Badon voluntarily pulled his bill from the docket of the House Criminal Justice Committee, stating that he received no prior indication that his proposal would be met with that level of opposition.

Badon’s proposal seeks to reduce penalties for second, third and fourth time marijuana possession offenses. As it stands, some Louisiana residents are being put in prison for as long as 5-20 years for second and third pot possession offenses.

Although, Badon’s bill has stalled indefinitely, there are several other bills being considered that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession.

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