Search Results: times-picayune (10)

Louisiana lawmakers will not be reducing the penalties for the possession of an ounce of marijuana and have decided to maintain some of the harshest pot penalties in the country.
The sad thing? The reductions still would have made criminals out of cannabis users and those caught still faced up to six months in jail and $500 fines as before. In fact, it wouldn’t have really done much of anything – yet lawmakers still were opposed to it based on knee-jerk principles alone.

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.

An amended version of a bill that would end Louisiana’s draconian three-strikes law for some marijuana crimes has finally made its way through the house.
But it could be a tight squeeze to get the bill through. The Louisiana Senate adjourns next week, leaving little time to have the bill heard, debated and voted on before the politicians leave Baton Rouge for the year.

As we reported back in March, Louisiana legislators are considering a bill that would have dropped marijuana possession from the mandatory minimum sentencing laws that help in the clogging of state prison systems.
House Bill 103 is gaining momentum, moving through committee this week and on to the House floor. The Advocate reports it was a pretty lively discussion, with several legislators pointing out the stupidity of sending people away for 20 years or more for a single joint to other, more pig-headed colleagues hell-bent on punishing pot users.

Marijuana possession would not be included in Louisiana’s draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws if a bill introduced earlier this week manages to find approval in the state legislature.
State Rep. Austin Badon, a democrat from New Orleans, introduced House Bill 103 on Tuesday which in addition to removing marijuana possession a qualifying offense for the state’s three strikes law.

Graphic: Hermes Press

​A 35-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison last week for his fourth marijuana conviction under Louisiana’s repeat-offender law.

Cornell Hood II had gotten probation after his first three marijuana offenses in New Orleans, but when he moved near Slidell, in the St. Tammany Parish, his fourth such conviction sent him away for the rest of his life, reports Ramon Antonio Vargas of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
State Judge Raymond S. Childress sentenced Hood in his courtroom on Covington, Louisiana, on Thursday. A jury on February 15 had found the defendant guilty of attempting to possess and distribute marijuana at his Slidell home, according to court records.
Hood had moved from eastern New Orleans to the Slidell area after his third marijuana conviction, for distribution and possession with intent to distribute, on December 18, 2009, in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. He received a suspended five-year prison sentence and five years’ of probation for each count, which was exactly the same penalty he’d gotten in that court after pleading guilty to possessing and intending to distribute marijuana about five years earlier, on February 22, 2005.

Photo: Jennifer Zdon/The Times-Picayune
The New Orleans City Council on Thursday decided that people accused of marijuana possession and three other misdemeanors will receive a summons instead of being arrested and brought to the Orleans Parish Prison.

​If you get picked up for marijuana possession or prostitution in New Orleans, police no longer have to arrest you and take you to jail.

In a move designed to reduce the dockets in Criminal District Court and give police more time to deal with major crimes, the New Orleans City Council voted unanimously Thursday to designate marijuana possession and three other relatively minor crimes as municipal offenses, giving police the option to issue a summons rather than make an arrest, reports Bruce Eggler at The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Until now, the crimes have been illegal only under Louisiana state laws, meaning police had to arrest offenders and take them to Central Lockup for booking.

Photo: Dan Gill/The New York Times
Julie Meyers, 20, smokes “synthetic marijuana” at Petra Cafe and Hookah Bar in St. Louis days before Missouri’s ban was signed into law.

​It was bound to happen, sooner or later, and this is the first time Toke of the Town has heard of it: Laralee Herron, 20, entered the annals of hemp history (though probably not how she wanted) when she was arrested Sunday night in West Monroe, Louisiana, for possession of “synthetic marijuana.”

A search revealed “synthetic marijuana” in Herron’s purse, according to an affidavit. She was charged with “possession of synthetic marijuana” and bond was set at $750.
Eager officers didn’t waste any time getting started on enforcing their shiny new law. Young Herron got busted on the very day that Louisiana’s ban on “synthetic marijuana” went into effect — August 15.
Back on June 29, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law House Bill 173, making it a crime to possess, sell or manufacture the synthetic drug, and the law took effect Sunday.

Photo: St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office
Rapper Juvenile is led out of an Arabi, Louisiana house after his arrest Thursday. At right is Cpl. Leander Morgan of the St. Bernard Parish Street Crimes Unit.

​The rapper Juvenile was arrested Thursday in Louisiana and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, according to police.

The New Orleans-based artist was arrested in a house in Arabi, Louisiana. The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office said Juvenile, 34, doesn’t live in the house, but that it is owned by a friend who allows him to record music there, reports Bob Warren at The Times-Picayune.
Police investigators claimed there was no recording equipment in the house.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s department said someone called the office’s drug line to report “smelling marijuana smoke” at the house. A deputy with the Special Investigations Division went to the house, and also smelled marijuana when the door was opened, police claimed.
The man who answered the door, Leroy Edwards, 42, of New Orleans, was arrested after the deputy found marijuana on him, according to the sheriff’s department. Edwards identified himself as Juvenile’s producer.