I live in Oregon where the marijuana laws are very liberal, so maybe Louisiana’s laws seem harsher to me than to other people, but I can’t imagine being sentenced to twenty years in prison for a marijuana offense.
But that is exactly what happened to Corey Ladd. Mr. Ladd was sentenced to twenty years in prison for possessing just 15 grams of marijuana. In Louisiana, if you have been convicted of marijuana possession three times you can get 20 years in prison. It feels weird even typing that out. 20 years in prison, for marijuana. I don’t care how many times you have been convicted for marijuana, or what amount of marijuana you were caught with, there is no reason you should be serving multiple decades in prison for a marijuana only offense. What a waste of tax dollars. What a waste of a jail bed that should be reserved for a deranged, violent person.
Someone really needs to take a hard look at Louisiana’s marijuana laws and see how much money is being wasted. Louisiana’s marijuana laws result in racially biased practices that have a detrimental effect on the State’s minority communities. According to Dissident Voice:
For example, Louisiana arrests about 13,000 people per year for marijuana, 60% of them African Americans. Over 84 percent were for possession only. While Louisiana’s population is 32 percent black, 60 percent of arrests for marijuana are African American making it the 9th most discriminatory state nationwide. In Tangipahoa Parish, blacks are 11.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites and in St. Landry Parish the rate of black arrests for marijuana is 10.7 times as likely as whites, landing both parishes in the worst 15 in the country.
If you live in Louisiana, get active. The only way marijuana laws will change there is if you put the pressure on your legislators over and over again, because Louisiana is not an initiative state. Lobby for an initiative process and align with other causes that also would benefit from an initiative system. Then Louisiana will be ripe for an initiative that reform’s the State’s horrendous marijuana laws.