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The Louisiana Senate will debate HB 149 today, legislation approved by the House that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession. This bill is almost identical to a Senate bill that was approved 27-12 late last month. Although penalties would still be staggering for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol, HB 149 is an important step forward — it could shave months, if not years, off of marijuana consumers’ sentences.
The bill will be voted on TODAY, so email your senator NOW and ask him or her to vote “yes” on HB 149.
While first offense marijuana possession would remain a misdemeanor, HB 149 greatly reduces the fine and potential jail time for possession of 14 grams or less of marijuana — the maximum jail sentence would be reduced from six months to 15 days while the fine would be reduced from up to $500 to up to $300. HB 149 also significantly reduces the sentences for second and subsequent marijuana possession charges.
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