Lawmakers kill bill to decriminalize marijuana in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE — Lawmakers have killed a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana in the state. The House Criminal Justice Committee, in a 9-4 vote along party lines, deferred the bill, thereby stopping it from moving forward during the legislative session.

Currently, 22 states have passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana, with Delaware being the latest state to do so.

Democratic New Orleans Rep. Candace Newell argued that her bill would create a booming economy for the state. However, police, sheriffs and district attorneys across the state strongly opposed the bill.

Marijuana for medicinal purposes has been legal in Louisiana since 2019. In 2022, lawmakers approved marijuana pharmacies and also passed HB 629, which bars law enforcement from searching someone’s home without a warrant if they smell pot.

That same year, lawmakers passed a law preventing state workers from being discriminated against based on a positive drug test for marijuana if they are registered medical marijuana patients.

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