Louisiana

How does your state measure up when it comes to establishing policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition?

Harm Reduction


Does the state permit access to clean syringes for people who inject drugs?

  • YES

Does the state have naloxone training & distribution programs available to the public at syringe exchange programs or other facilities?

  • YES

Does the state have a 911 Good Samaritan law?

  • YES

Does the state have legal methadone access?

  • YES

Marijuana


Are marijuana possession and use legal for medical purposes?

  • NO

What are the criminal penalties for marijuana possession?

Criminal Justice


How many people are arrested for a drug offense each year? 

  • 18,851

What are the racial disparities in arrest rates?

  • Total population (2010): 62.6% white, 32.0% black.
    Arrests: 46% white, 54% black.

What happens to people’s voting rights when they become part of the criminal justice system?

  • Felons voting rights suspended while imprisoned.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Expected To Sign Marijuana Sentencing Reform Law

New Law Would Be Important Step Toward Reducing Louisiana’s Notoriously Overcrowded Prisons and Jails

Even With This Reform, Louisiana’s Marijuana Laws Would Remain Harsher Than Nearly All Other U.S. States; Majority of Louisianans Support Ending All Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Possession

The Louisiana legislature voted yesterday to reform its state’s severely punitive marijuana laws and reduce criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession. If signed into law, it’s expected to save the state up to $17 million and will reduce the chances of Louisianans caught with small amounts of marijuana ending up with lengthy jail or prison sentences or saddled with a criminal conviction.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Yolande Cadore 646-508-1790

Louisiana Senate Approves Bill to Reform Draconian Marijuana Possession Law

New Law Would Be Important Step Toward Reducing Louisiana’s Notoriously Overcrowded Prisons and Jails

Bill Now Heads to the House

Louisiana’s Senate took an important step toward reforming their state’s harsh marijuana possession law when they approved bill SB241 by a vote of 27-12 yesterday. If passed, Louisiana would join the growing number of states that have recently reduced penalties for small amounts of marijuana.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Yolande Cadore 646-508-1790

Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Reform Draconian Marijuana Possession Law

Law Would Allow Second Chance for First-Time Offenders and Save Millions of Dollars

Bill Heads to Full Senate

Lawmakers in Louisiana took a major step toward reforming the state’s harsh marijuana possession law when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to reform the state’s harsh marijuana possession law. If passed, Louisiana would join the growing number of states that have recently reduced penalties for small amounts of marijuana.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Yolande Cardore 646-508-1790

New Directions New Orleans: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy

One-Day Conference Brings Elected Officials Together with Leading Drug Policy and Criminal Justice Experts to Chart a Health-Based Approach to Drug Policy

Louisiana Leads Nation in Incarceration Rates;  Prison Population Has Doubled in Last 20 Years, With Staggering Racial Disparities

An unprecedented collection of drug policy stakeholders – including judges, elected officials, public health workers, law enforcement, and community advocates – will come together to chart a new course for Louisiana’s drug policies at New Directions New Orleans on Thursday April 2 from 9am-5pm at Dillard University.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Yolande Cadore 646-508-1790

Louisianan Given 13-Year Prison Sentence for Possession of Two Marijuana Cigarettes

Amicus brief by Drug Policy Alliance Highlights Why Sentence is Cruel & Unusual and Urges Louisiana Supreme Court to Review Mr. Noble’s Sentence

NEW ORLEANS—The Drug Policy Alliance filed an amicus brief today urging the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the egregious prison sentence of Bernard Noble, a 48-year old man who was sentenced to 13.3 years of hard labor in prison without the opportunity for parole for possessing the equivalent of two marijuana cigarettes.  

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Daniel Abrahamson 510-229-5212

Brief of Amici Curiae in Support of Petition of Bernard Noble

April 16, 2014

The Drug Policy Alliance filed an amicus brief today urging the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the egregious prison sentence of Bernard Noble, a 48-year old man who was sentenced to 13.3 years of hard labor in prison without the opportunity for parole for possessing the equivalent of two marijuana cigarettes.

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