A Louisiana bill to reduce crimes for repeat marijuana offenders and rid the state of abhorrent “three strikes” laws for possession of any amount failed to pass the state Senate yesterday.
House Bill 103 had already cleared the state House late last month, but Senate members refused to call the bill up for a vote on three separate occasions.
“I’m done, that’s it,” said Sen. J.P. Morrell of New Orleans, a supporter of the bill after the third attempt according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The Times-Picayune also reported that when Morrel took the podium to bring up the bill Thursday he was laughed at by other lawmakers who rolled their eyes at the proposal and made mocking joint-toking sounds. You know, stereotypically bad level of discourse you’d expect from backwards-conservative lawmakers down in Louisiana (which is sad in a state so full of awesome culture and people).
The legislation wouldn’t have done anything for first-time offenders in Louisiana, who would still face up to six months in jail for as little as a few stems and a seed in their pockets. But it would have changed how repeat offenders are sentenced.
Notably, it would have dropped second offenses from a five-year penalty with $5,000 in fines to a two-year maximum and $2,500 in fines and third offenses would have dropped from 20 years in jail to five years.
House Bill 103 was touted a saving the state more than $2 million the first year in incarceration costs alone.
Live in Louisiana and want to see who voted for the bill and who voted for keeping marijuana penalties absurdly harsh, click over here to the bill on the Louisiana state legislative website.