Louisiana Lawmakers to Debate Recreational Marijuana Use
The Louisiana House is set to debate allowing recreational marijuana use for adults in the state.
The state's majority opinion on cannabis has changed over the years, and Louisiana lawmakers have taken notice. The House criminal justice committee voted 7-5 today to send the proposed bill to the House floor for full debate.
Republican Richard Nelson of Mandeville authored the bill, which would allow anyone 21 or over to buy and consume marijuana for personal use. This bill would also set up a legal process for growing and selling cannabis outside of the current state-run medical marijuana program.
Supporters of the proposed bill point toward several statewide polls that show a majority of Louisiana residents want marijuana to be legalized in the state. Opponents of the proposed bill say that if marijuana was legal in the state, it would strengthen organized crime and lead to a higher teen suicide rate.
Governor Edwards has repeatedly stated he opposes the decriminalization of marijuana in the state. Louisiana lawmakers would need to pass the proposed bill with over a two-thirds majority vote to deny Edwards an opportunity to veto the bill.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 16 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults.