Move to decriminalize marijuana in La. shot down in Senate commi - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Move to decriminalize marijuana in La. shot down in Senate committee

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

A move to decriminalize marijuana in Louisiana was shot down in a Senate committee Tuesday.

Senate Bill 323 by State Sen. JP Morrell, D-New Orleans, seeks to make simple possession of marijuana, under an ounce, a misdemeanor.

Law enforcement officials and the District Attorneys Association were in opposition to the bill. That was apparently enough to swing at least one vote against the measure. Sen. Elbert Guillory reportedly was in favor of the bill but he voted to defer the matter, effectively killing the bill.

Opponents said this is a step toward the legalization of marijuana. They added marijuana is a gateway drug to addiction.

"This can help your state more effectively deal with addiction," said Craig Deroche, the former House Speaker in the Michigan Legislature. "It can help your state more effectively deal with threats to safety in your communities, if done well, but it shouldn't be done at the expense of stakeholders like law enforcement."

The committee voted 4-3 against the bill.

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