Louisiana Governor Says Marijuana Legalization Will Likely Happen In His State—But Not While He’s In Office

MJ moment

The governor of Louisiana says recreational marijuana legalization will likely happen in his state—but he doesn’t feel lawmakers will reach a consensus on the issue while he’s still in office. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who signed legislation to decriminalize cannabis possession a day earlier, said during a monthly radio appearance on Wednesday that a stalled broader legalization bill led by Republican sponsor this session “actually got more traction with it than most people thought.” He also said he thinks “there’s a growing recognition that this is going to happen in Louisiana one day,” though he and law enforcement agencies would hope to avoid the “mistakes” that other legal states have made in implementing the policy change. Listen to the governor discuss marijuana, starting around 4:40 and 14:35 into the audio below:  The effort in the legislature to pass a bill to legalize recreational cannabis stalled in the House this session after the chamber failed to pass a complementary measure on taxing adult-use marijuana. Edwards also said last month that he believes the reform “is going to happen in Louisiana eventually.” Despite the acknowledgement that legalization is likely to happen in Louisiana in the future, Edwards said on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect that to occur in the immediate future. “It’s on the march, and that certainly might happen here in Louisiana,” he said. However “I would be surprised if there’s a consensus in the legislature to do that while I’m governor.” (Edwards is term-limited and cannot run again in 2023’s upcoming gubernatorial election.) But in the meantime, the governor did sign legislation to decriminalize low-level possession of cannabis—even if he disagrees with that characterization. The bill would make possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis punishable by a $100 fine without the threat of jail time, which…

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