NWLA State Rep Wants to Send Minors to Jail for Marijuana
Last year, Louisiana decriminalized the possession of "small" amounts of marijuana. The law that took effect on August 1st, of 2021 basically removed the threat of jail time for residents found with 14 grams of cannabis or less. When you take into account that the state also enacted new laws allowing for patients with a doctor's recommendation to legally purchase and possess raw marijuana flower, it certainly looked like the Sportsman's Paradise was shifting its stance on pot. While that may hold true for the adults in this state, a Stonewall representative has different thoughts on how we should treat the issue when it comes to minors.
According to a report from the LA Illuminator, Stonewall Representative Larry Bagley is seeking to amend the law that eliminates jail time for possessing a modest amount of marijuana. Under the current law, a person "convicted of possessing 14 grams or less of marijuana in Louisiana cannot be fined more than $100, arrested or thrown in prison." Bagley wants to change that law to allow folks who are under the age of 18 to arrested and jailed up to 15 days on the first offense of marijuana possession of 14 grams or less.
The proposal also calls for tougher penalties if that minor is convicted on subsequent offenses of marijuana possession. Reportedly, that includes up to 2 years in prison on the third offense, and up to 4 years on the 4th offense. An exception would be made for any minor with a doctor's recommendation for cannabis to treat a medical condition.
Bagley's reasoning is that without the fear of incarceration, prosecutors won't be able to "push" kids into rehabilitative programs. He believes that no judge would put a kid in jail for 6 months for possession of marijuana, but the possibility of incarceration may make them consider treatment.