Louisiana House kills Republican weed legalization efforts despite support from bipartisan voters
On Tuesday, the Louisiana House of Representatives voted against a critical cannabis reform bill needed to legalize weeds in the state.
A Louisiana Republican, Rep. Richard Nelson, recently introduced two weed control reform bills in Pelican State. The actual legalization act, HB 699, would have allowed an ounce of weed per day to be sold to anyone 21 and older.
However, HB 699 was pending the passage of another bill, HB 434, which would have introduced a 15 percent tax on all recreational or retail sales of pots. The Republican majority house hit the bill with 47-48 yes-no votes. Since HB included 699 new taxes, its approval under Louisiana law required 70 yes votes.
Nelson, a former Eagle Scout who claims he never smoked cannabis, said the state could generate $ 100 million in tax revenue annually from legal weed sales. Since Tuesday’s vote, that potential revenue has gone up in smoke. At least until the next meeting when the bills can be reintroduced.
“Right now we have zero money on all that money,” Nelson told a local NBC News partner. “It’s nothing. It all goes to the drug dealers. We’re not passing this law, it will go to the drug dealers this year, it will go to the drug dealers next year.”
Ironically, weed legalization in Louisiana is not a controversial or even partisan topic. According to a poll released earlier this week, voters from all nine House boroughs supported the legalization. All nine districts also voted for Trump in the 2019 presidential election.
Another poll in March found that an average of 67 percent of the vote in Louisiana supports weed legalization.
The Louisiana cannabis reform stall issue has nothing to do with citizens. The raid is entirely up to the state legislature. Louisiana’s anti-pot politicians cited debunked myths about rising crime rates and road deaths caused by legalization.
In Louisiana, however, it’s not all doom and gloom. The federally recognized non-inhalable medical cannabis in 2016 and finally the introduction of smokable medical weed in 2019. And last week the house decriminalized personal pot ownership with the passage of HB 652.
HB 652 was sponsored by 10 Louisiana Democrats and only one Republican. If you suspected the only Republican was Rep. Richard Nelson, you win an infused biscuit.
To contact the Louisiana state officials, visit the house’s website.