BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A bill that would decriminalize and legalize marijuana in Louisiana is once again being delayed. But there is still hope the debate will go on this week.
All eyes have been on the Republican Representative Richard Nelson as he has been working to secure the votes for House Bill 699. With some of his confirmed ‘yes’ voters absent he pulled the bill to wait for the full support and make some changes to the language. This is the second time he has delayed the bill as he works with other representatives to get them to support the bill.
The bill would decriminalize possession of marijuana and make it legal for sale. The expected tax collection from legalization is estimated to be $100 million a year. Rep. Nelson said that money can be well spent on schools, roads, and law enforcement.
He wants to alter some parts of the bill to get support of some of the lawmakers on the fence, namely the part that would allow people to grow marijuana at home.
“The current state of the bill has a home grown portion of it and one of the big things we’re going to get rid of…the ability for people to basically grow it in their houses,” Rep. Nelson said. “So we looked at Colorado who has had some issues with that in their original program that allowed them to do that. As a result I think it really funded the black market.”
The representative said he believes with the changes and everyone present, he will be able to get the bill out of the House Wednesday. Another bill aimed at just decriminalization of the bill hits the House floor on Tuesday.