With the world moving forward in open-mindedness toward marijuana use, Shreveport has decided to lighten the load by ticketing cannabis possession in small amounts instead of arresting. Starting Friday 4/23/21, this change will officially go in to effect.

The Shreveport City Council  approved the change to the penalties for possession of  marijuana. The bipartisan measure was co-sponsored by Republican Councilman John Nickelson and Democratic Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor. Under this change, the penalty for possession of less than 14 grams of marijuana would drop to $50 dollars from $300. It also does away with jail time for the possession charge.

Councilman John Nickelson had this to say on his social media page before bringing the new measure to the council:

“The legislation Councilwoman Taylor and I are sponsoring would create a municipal offense for possession of fourteen grams or less or marijuana; set a $50 fine as the only penalty for violation; and require Shreveport Police Department officers to issue a ticket rather than arresting a suspect for this relatively small amount of marijuana”

Councilwoman Tabitha Taylor says "there has always been a disparity when it comes to marijuana especially in black and brown communities. But we also have to take a look at what we are doing on the local level."  The councilwoman also expressed the importance of restorative justice along with decriminalization. Taylor says "there are a number of individuals who sit in the system that had small amounts of marijuana and this has ruined their lives."

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins also pushed for the change.

With changes in marijuana laws and legislation on the docket on both the state and national level, it was only a matter of time before something happened locally. Though you can still be arrested in certain circumstances for possession (possession over 14 grams, intent to distribute, ect.) the punishment for small amounts will be will only be a ticket and fine.

 

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