State house passes marijuana decriminalization bill

By T. Scott Boatright

On Tuesday the Louisiana House of Representatives passed a bill proposing to decriminalize possession of marijuana by a vote of 70-19.

If it goes through Congress, House Bill 652, authored by state Rep. Cedric B. Glover (D-Shreveport), would make possessing marijuana a misdemeanor crime with a maximum fine of $100 for possession of 14 grams or less.

Shreveport Republican Rep. Alan Seabaugh, one of the chamber’s most conservative members, reportedly joined Democrats in asking lawmakers to support the bill.

The Louisiana House also approved a bill on Tuesday that aims to impose a 10% tax on the net proceeds of an operator for on-premise sports wagering and an 18% tax on net proceeds from mobile betting. The bill also calls for the Louisiana Lottery to oversee sports betting through kiosks placed in bars and restaurants, which is meant to allow retail establishments to benefit.

The Louisiana Senate will now hear those bill for debate.

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