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Louisiana Senate committee kills bill making marijuana possession misdemeanor

(NOLA) After more than three hours of testimony that included personal offenses, scripture readings and recidivism statistics, a Louisiana Senate Committee killed a bill on Tuesday (April 22) that would reduce penalties for marijuana possessionThe bill, its sponsors argued, would be a step toward meaningful sentencing reform that could generate more than $20 million in savings a year. 

Members of Senate Judiciary C Committee had an opportunity to adopt an amendment toSenate Bill 323 that would keep Louisiana’s marijuana possession law — among the toughest in the country — the same with the exception of an added measure that would make possession of less than an ounce, under any circumstances, a misdemeanor. Had the same senators who voted later to shelve the bill not blocked the amendment, those convicted in Louisiana one or more times of possessing less than an ounce of pot would face a maximum $500 fine and six months in jail. The amendment and the bill, however, were both killed by a 4-3 vote.

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