State lawmakers have advanced several marijuana reform measures to the desk of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Among them, House Bill 629 bars police from conducting a warrantless search of person’s place of residence based solely upon the odor of cannabis. Several other states that have either legalized or decriminalized the use of marijuana by adults have enacted similar prohibitions on police conduct.
Another bill before the Governor, HB 988, mandates, “No state employer shall subject an employee or prospective employee to negative employment consequences based solely on a positive drug test for marijuana” if they are a state-registered medical cannabis patient. Twenty-one states and Washington, DC have similarly made it illegal for an employer to not hire or to discriminate against either a job applicant or employee who uses medical marijuana, under certain conditions.
A third bill pending the Governor’s approval, House Bill 775, legalizes any marijuana-related paraphernalia that is “solely used or intended for use for the inhalation of raw or crude marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols, or a chemical derivative of tetrahydrocannabinols when the person is a patient of a state-sponsored medical marijuana program.” A fourth bill, HB 137, provides immunity from criminal prosecution to out-of-state medical cannabis patients.
NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano praised lawmakers for advancing these measures to the Governor’s desk. “These are common sense reforms that will provide further protections and freedoms to patients and others and they ought to be enacted swiftly by Gov. John Bel Edwards,” he said.
The Governor has ten days following receiving a bill to take action on it or else it becomes law absent his or her signature.