LOUISIANA – The Louisiana House of Representatives has given its approval to a bill aimed at facilitating expungements for individuals with first-time marijuana possession convictions. The bill has now been sent to the Senate for further consideration
On Tuesday, the legislation put forth by Representative Delisha Boyd (D) successfully passed the chamber in a vote of 69-30, paving the way for its progression to the Senate.
The legislation enables individuals convicted of first-time possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis to petition the courts for record expungement after a 90-day period following the conviction. This change would greatly expedite the relief process since under current law, individuals are required to wait a minimum of five years before being eligible to petition for expungement of specific records.
During the committee stage, the bill underwent amendments that clarified the eligibility criteria for misdemeanor marijuana possession cases, stating that they cannot involve quantities exceeding 14 grams. Additionally, an initial provision that would have waived court processing fees for first-time cannabis expungements was removed.
Under the new measure, fees for record clearing will be capped at $300.
Despite the lack of progress in marijuana legalization within the Louisiana legislature, lawmakers have actively pursued cannabis law reforms and enhancements to the state’s medical marijuana program during recent sessions.
“The clerk shall immediately direct the collected processing fees provided…to the sheriff and the district attorney, and the processing fee amount shall be remitted immediately upon receipt in equal proportions to the office of the district attorney and the sheriff’s general fund,” the bill states.
Despite the lack of progress in cannabis legalization within the Louisiana legislature, lawmakers have actively pursued cannabis law reforms and enhancements to the state’s medical marijuana program during recent sessions.
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