Mar 182016
 March 18, 2016

marijuana arrest prison drug drugsArresting someone for marijuana is inhumane, can ruin the person’s life in the blink of an eye, and costs the arresting agency a ton of money. I’m not sure how much a marijuana arrest costs in all municipalities, but many of the figures I’ve seen put a marijuana arrest for simple possession at between $1,500 and $2,000. Compare that to issuing a citation, which can cost as low as $20 from some statistics I’ve seen. More and more local governments are reforming their marijuana laws in such a way that minimizes the amount of people being arrested for simple marijuana possession.

The New Orleans City Council became the most recent local government to make such a move. The New Orleans City Council voted yesterday to reform it’s city marijuana law regarding personal possession. Per NOLA:

New Orleans police will have even more leeway to issue citations for simple marijuana possession after the City Council voted 7-0 Thursday (March 17) to enact new standards aimed at reducing the number of arrests for low-level drug crime.

Local law already allowed NOPD officers to write a ticket for first-offense possession, and they still have the option to use the stricter state law that calls for arrests. Council members Susan Guidry and Jason Williams backed the ordinance that allows police to issue summonses for third and subsequent simple possession charges.

“Our hope with this is that fewer people will be brought to jail and fewer people will have their lives disrupted with this charge,” Guidry said.

This move obviously doesn’t go far enough in that there will still be people getting arrested for marijuana possession, as it’s up to the officer. So there’s still room for selective enforcement, which is often a problem when it comes to marijuana possession and minorities. But this is still a step in the right direction. Louisiana has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the nation, and any movement there, even at a city level, is significant. Fines for marijuana possession range between $40-100.

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
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  • By-U-Boy

    This will totally change everything! We hope.

  • SilentPatriot

    Funny pic! Looks like Paul Blart, mall cop.

  • MrPC

    If they had any sense, they’d legalize and tax it immediately, which would give the cops time to do something useful and pour some much-needed income into city coffers. An additional benefit might be less barf in the French Quarter.

    • Rock

      What right do they have to tax something you can grow on your own property? The government’s purpose is to serve its citizen, not the other way around.

      • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

        If it’s sold in a store, yes, tax it reasonably.
        If it’s grown on one’s own property, no, don’t tax it at all.

        • Bongstar420

          I don’t believe anything that is produced for the self is taxed….nor are most “non-profit” transactions

          • Fungi Sclerotia 1427

            Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo wants to impose
            a $150/year tax on each plant that medical cannabis patients
            grow for themselves, ($350/ year for caregivers), by state
            requirement to purchase tags for each plant.

          • Pyewacket

            Yet another excellent reason to avoid Rhode Island.

      • Bongstar420
  • Tricky Ricky

    Good for NOLA…but I hate they left it up to the discretion of the cop. There are a lot of asshole cops in NOLA.

  • Trevor Chatikobo

    It’s a small step but def a step in the right direction . Marijuana legalization is just around the corner folks . Also wrote a similar article on this issue.Please check it out and tell me what u think . New post just posted folks and it’s great news . Check it out at

  • Bongstar420

    Right…but doing it to crack heads is totally humane..

    uh, huh

  • Pyewacket

    I love it – The Man’s even got the DOG up against the wall, LOL!

  • M. Simon

    So we are moving into an Alcohol Prohibition like regime where only suppliers are under threat of law?

    Well that is an improvement.

    NOT !