Marijuana Politics: Louisiana Just Isn’t Cool
There is no doubt that marijuana laws are changing across America: the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington last year is an excellent representation that this issue is headed in the right direction.
However, that does not appear to be the case in Louisiana, where a judge has the authority to sentence three-strike individuals caught with small amounts of weed to 20-years in prison without the possibility of probation. In fact, this scenario recently happened to 27-year-old Corey Ladd: he was sentenced to 20-years of “hard labor at the Department of Correction” for simply possessing a half ounce of marijuana.
It’s no wonder that Louisiana has the highest incarceration rates in the country, while states like Colorado, where marijuana is legal, and Mississippi, where it has been decriminalized, rank low at 18th and 5th, respectively. And while data explaining the correlation between liberal drug laws and incarceration rates cannot always be taken as gospel, it does indicate that the numbers between the two are likely closely related.
Shockingly, while most states have certain tiers of marijuana possession to determine an offender’s sentence, Louisiana gives the same punishment to individuals caught with 60-pounds or less. That’s exactly why Corey Ladd would have been better off getting busted in Mississippi. There, he would have likely been sentenced to only five or six days in jail, and would have already been released. In short, Louisiana just isn't cool.
To read more about the marijuana politics in Louisiana click here.