Target: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Goal: Stop sending people to prison for nonviolent marijuana-related crimes.
Unduly harsh prison penalties for marijuana possession in the state of Louisiana could finally be reduced thanks to a proposal currently being discussed in the state legislature. These laws are draconian and do no one any good. Demand that this proposal be signed into law without delay.
Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration out of all the states in the country, thanks in no small part to its incredibly strict laws against marijuana. A person convicted of nonviolent marijuana possession for the first time faces up to six months in jail and up to $500 in fines—if they are convicted a third time, they face up to 20 years in prison.
Thankfully, the state is trying to reduce these ridiculously harsh laws. The proposal being considered would cut back the maximum prison sentences that convicted marijuana-possessors could be punished with. On the fourth conviction, for example, a person could only be forced to serve up to eight years in prison and pay $5,000 in fines.
Though even these lessened punishments are still much more severe than the marijuana possession laws in Louisiana’s neighboring states, they still reflect a softening of the state’s own draconian laws and should be encouraged. Sign the petition below to demand that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sign this bill into law when it arrives on his desk so that nonviolent people never have to spend decades in prison just for possessing minor amounts of marijuana.
Dear Governor Jindal,
I am writing you today regarding Senate Bill 241, a piece of legislation that is likely to arrive on your desk in the very near future. A proposal such as this is long overdue and should be signed into law at once.
Your state has the dubious honor of having some of the harshest marijuana possession laws in the country. Senate Bill 241 would address this, reducing the prison time and fine amounts that people in your state convicted of nonviolent marijuana possession could be punished with.
While I understand your desire to appear “tough on crime” with the 2016 presidential election looming, you have to concede that sentencing people who did nothing but have a little bit of marijuana on their person to 20 years in state prison is incredibly harsh. Your state’s resources do not need to be wasted locking up people for decades who pose no danger to others.
Louisiana’s laws on marijuana possession are in desperate need of reform, and you now have the opportunity to do it. I demand that you sign Senate Bill 241 into law as soon as it arrives in your office for approval.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bogdan