LOUISIANA (KLFY)— Two new Louisiana laws go into effect, protecting people’s constitutional rights, according to Peter Robins-Brown, Executive Director of Louisiana Progress.

Act 391 and Act 473 are the two new Louisiana laws that go into effect, which rely on U.S. constitutional jurisprudence to protect people from unreasonable incarceration and searches of their homes.

Act 391 by Representative Rodney Lyons outlaws debt-based incarceration, in Louisiana. Although this has been ruled by the Supreme Court as a violation of the 14th amendment, it still occurs in Louisiana and elsewhere around the country. These persistent debt-based incarcerations have brought a national movement to outlaw it at the state levels.

“With Act 391, we have made it clear that no one should end up in jail in Louisiana because they can’t afford to pay debts to the state,” said Rep. Lyons. “Incarceration only makes the problem worse–along with violating people’s freedoms, it costs the state money to keep someone locked up and, obviously, they aren’t able to earn money to pay debts while in jail. There are plenty of more productive options available, including community service and realistic debt payment plans.”

Act 473 by Representative Marcus Bryant prohibits law enforcement from using the odor of marijuana as a pretext for searching someone’s home without a warrant.

According to Rep. Bryant, “Searching someone’s home without a warrant because you claim to smell marijuana is the definition of an ‘unreasonable search’ and a clear violation of the 4th Amendment. Hopefully this law will bring peace of mind to medical marijuana patients, especially our military veterans, who will now know they are safer from police intrusions into their homes.”

Acts 391 and 473 were just two of more than 20 bills that Louisiana Progress worked on during the 2022 Louisiana legislative session. You can find a full rundown of all of those bills, as well as a general overview of the entire session, in our recently released 2022 Legislative Session Report