Two bills concerning marijuana expected to signed by Governor Ji - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Two bills concerning marijuana expected to signed by Governor Jindal

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Governor Bobby Jindal is expected to sign into law, a number of aggressive new bills coming out of this year's legislative session. One political analyst explains why two of them, clearly show the cultural norms in the state, are changing.

New Orleans based State Rep. Austin Badon spent years trying to push marijuana reform legislation through Baton Rouge. “Over the last few years, legislators, they didn't even want to talk about marijuana reform, they would not even give the bill a fair hearing in committee or even schedule it for a committee,” Badon explained.

Now, Badon says, the tide has turned. Two bills concerning marijuana were approved by lawmakers during the legislative session, and are expected to be signed into law by Governor Jindal. The first, sponsored by Badon, softens the jail time and fines levied on a person arrested multiple times, for simple marijuana possession.

FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman explains, “It's a small step toward de-criminalization not yet legalization, but that's the direction our legislature is heading in, to keep our prisons from being full of low level drug offenders.”

Badon says the measure will save the state $16 to $17 million over the next five years, by reducing jail costs. For years, the idea was opposed by sheriffs and district attorneys across the state. “This year we worked together and we came up with a win-win compromise,” Badon said.

Lawmakers also passed a bill, allowing pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana to patients. Sherman says, “This medical marijuana measure is one that would've been unthinkable a few years ago.”

Sherman says Louisiana is slowly taking cues from others states around the U.S. in easing regulations. “This is a significant step, changing our laws, to show our cultural values in Louisiana are changing,” Sherman commented.

But Sherman cautions, don't expect the state to fully legalize recreational marijuana anytime soon. That he thinks, may be years away.

Medical marijuana has been actually legal in Louisiana since 1971 but there were never rules written to regulate growing, prescribing or dispensing it.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • City announces bike share community workshops

    City announces bike share community workshops

    The City of New Orleans, in conjunction with Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), announced today it will hold six community workshops to collect resident feedback on where to place the initial 70 bike stations before the fall 2017 launch of the City's bike share program.

    more>>

    The City of New Orleans, in conjunction with Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), announced today it will hold six community workshops to collect resident feedback on where to place the initial 70 bike stations before the fall 2017 launch of the City's bike share program.

    more>>
  • Solar panels lighting up New Orleans East

    Solar panels lighting up New Orleans East

    Solar energy is blanketing one neighborhood even after state tax credits disappeared. In New Orleans East at least 2,150 homes have solar energy and several homeowners are landing the panels at little or no initial cost. At Mary Queen of Vietnam, the church installed a large solar system including a hot water heater panel. “One single panel like that we don't have to use any other energy from the roof to make the water heater work and so it's a big saving to us,” Anthon...

    more>>

    Solar energy is blanketing one neighborhood even after state tax credits disappeared. In New Orleans East at least 2,150 homes have solar energy and several homeowners are landing the panels at little or no initial cost. At Mary Queen of Vietnam, the church installed a large solar system including a hot water heater panel. “One single panel like that we don't have to use any other energy from the roof to make the water heater work and so it's a big saving to us,” Anthon...

    more>>
  • Car burglary suspects caught on surveillance video

    Car burglary suspects caught on surveillance video

    Surveillance cameras captured pictures of two men the NOPD says were seen burglarizing multiple vehicles in a downtown garage.  Investigators say the images from inside the garage in the 400 block of O'Keefe Street show one man wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jogging pants. The second suspect also had on a blue sweatshirt with white lettering on the front and red sweatpants.  Police say the men were seen leaving the garage in what appears to be a blue Chrysler ve...more>>
    Surveillance cameras captured pictures of two men the NOPD says were seen burglarizing multiple vehicles in a downtown garage.  Investigators say the images from inside the garage in the 400 block of O'Keefe Street show one man wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and blue jogging pants. The second suspect also had on a blue sweatshirt with white lettering on the front and red sweatpants.  Police say the men were seen leaving the garage in what appears to be a blue Chrysler ve...more>>
Powered by Frankly