Baton Rouge easing up on marijuana penalties

Published 9:45 am Thursday, March 1, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana metro council has voted to overhaul its marijuana penalties.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council voted Wednesday to overhaul its marijuana penalties to make them essentially mirror a New Orleans law adopted in 2016.

The new version of Baton Rouge’s marijuana ordinance would direct police to issue a summons to people they find with less than 14 grams of the drug. City Court judges would only be able to impose fines for convictions.

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Police Chief Murphy Paul says they would only arrest defendants under state charges for several reasons including if the person with marijuana is not cooperating or refuses to give identification to police.

The new law goes into effect in 30 days if signed by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.