BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — In a sign of shifting opinions, House lawmakers agreed Tuesday night to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
The 67-25 vote for Rep. Cedric Glover’s bill represents a sea change, after similar measures have failed repeatedly to gain traction in prior years. The measure by the Shreveport Democrat heads next to the Senate for debate, where its chances of passage are uncertain.
The proposal — which won bipartisan support — would make possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana a misdemeanor carrying a fine up to $100, even for repeat offenses.
The measure isn’t as sweeping as a separate proposal by Republican Rep. Richard Nelson of St. Tammany Parish that would create a framework for legalizing recreational marijuana and allow its sale around the state. Tuesday’s vote may signal the end of consideration of the broader proposal.
The bill is filed as House Bill 652.