dalton honore

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Louisiana: Residents' Tolerant Views On Marijuana Not Reflected By Harsh State Laws

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Louisiana residents have a much more relaxed and tolerant approach toward marijuana than is reflected by their state's harsh laws, according to a statewide survey conducted by Louisiana State University this winter.

The university asked about three different marijuana polices, reports Julia O'Donoghue at The Times-Picayune.

First of all, the survey found that a majority of Louisianans oppose legal marijuana for personal use. Fifty-two percent of state residents still oppose legalizing cannabis for recreational use, but the gap between those who don't want to legalize and those who support it -- at 45 percent -- is shrinking.

In 2013, 56 percent said they opposed legalization, and 42 percent said they supported it, a gap of 14 points. Now, that gap has shrunk to just a seven-point difference.

Young adults ages 18-29 in Louisiana support legal marijuana, with 68 percent supporting and 32 percent opposed.

One state lawmaker has filed legislation to put possession, distribution and dispensing of cannabis on the Louisiana ballot on November 8, 2016. Rep. Dalton Honore (D-Baton Rouge) said voters should get to decide whether pot becomes legal.

Secondly, the survey found that most Louisiana residents support medical marijuana. Sixty percent support medicinal pot, but for some reason that number has shrunk since last year, when 79 percent said they supported it.

Louisiana: Voters Could Decide On Marijuana Legalization Next Year

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Louisiana lawmaker has proposed putting marijuana legalization on the Presidential election ballot next year for a statewide vote.

Rep. Dalton Honore (D-Baton Rouge) has filed a bill, HB 117, to put possession, distribution and dispensing of cannabis and its derivatives on the Louisiana ballot November 8, 2016, reports Julia O'Donoghue at The Times-Picayune. Voters would be deciding not just the Presidential race, but also Congressional seats that day.

In a Louisiana State University survey last year, 79 percent of Louisianans indicated support for some form of marijuana legalization. If Honore's initiative got on the ballot and passed, people 21 and older would be able to possess and buy cannabis without criminal charges.

"If I can get it to the people, it will pass with flying colors," Honore said.

According to Honore, criminal charges for marijuana have already ruined too many lives in Louisiana. As of June 2013, 1,372 Louisianans were serving prison sentences for simple cannabis possession. The average marijuana sentence in Louisiana is 8.4 years; more than 78 percent of these offenders are African American.

Louisiana: Citizens Tell Lawmakers 'We Want Medical Marijuana'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Louisiana residents, tired of being left out of the wave of change sweeping across the U.S. and the globe, came to Baton Rouge en masse on Tuesday to tell state lawmakers why they believe marijuana should be legalized for medical or recreational use. The citizens weren't able to get many legislators to endorse the cause; Louisiana still allows repeat offenders to get life imprisonment for simple cannabis possession.

Tuesday's informational meeting of the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice was convened at the request of state Rep. Dalton Honore (D-Baton Rouge) to discuss the feasibility of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, reports Lauren McGaughy of the New Orleans Times Picayune.

For nearly four hours, members of the public passionately advocated legalization, while law enforcement officials opposed the move and politicians equivocated. By the end of the hearing, Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans) said Louisiana lawmakers probably wouldn't support legalization.

"I'm not sure if the Legislature is ready for any kind of legalization," Badon said. He is once again sponsoring a bill to reduce the penalties for those convicted on repeated charges of simple marijuana possession. Louisiana has become infamous worldwide for the extreme harshness of its cannabis possession penalties, including life imprisonment for multiple convictions.

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