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Big Smoking in the Big Easy. New Orleans Pardons 10,000 Cannabis Convictions.

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

The city of New Orleans, LA has taken a huge historic step against the war on cannabis. On Wednesday, August 5, 2021 the city of New Orleans voted to decriminalize the use of cannabis. With a unanimous vote the city council passed a series of articles to pardon cannabis-related charges and any future charges. The council has been working with the NOPD to crack down on cannabis mass incarcerations in the city.

Although weed has been decriminalize in the city, smoking weed in public is still prohibited. Smoking cannabis in a public place is considered a violation of the smoke-free air act but it's not considered a drug offence. This may be a positive sign that the city of may soon be close to fully legalizing cannabis all together.

Back in 2008 over 1,500 people were taken to jail for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Collectively working over a decade the New Orleans City Council has encouraged the NOPD to divert resources away from marijuana enforcement, that number was down to 39 in 2019, and 22 in 2020.

Many members of the city council’s "Criminal Justice Committee" are outraged that people are still be arrested for weed related cases. Some have recently expressed their dismay at recent public meetings in the city.

One of the main underline issues is the fact that the mass majority of the individuals who are being arrested are of black and brown decent. This factor only fuels the ongoing racial tension in the city. And clearly showcases some of the cities long-term racial disparities.

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