Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans) wants to amend state law dealing with sentencing law for simple marijuana possession.

“I, in no way, condone the use of marijuana,” Badon says. “But when the state locks people up, we have to pay for three meals a day, medical expenses, counseling and education. Sometimes it causes people to lose their jobs, it separates families and it takes people out of educational institutions.”

And, because of these feelings, Badon has scheduled a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29, to discuss his House Bill 149 which deals with this and is awaiting a hearing in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.

“We are a state with few and valuable dollars, yet we are locking people up for extended sentences when they’re hurting no one but themselves,” Badon says. “I believe it is more important to spend our valuable dollars on things such as education, health care and infrastructure."

Badon says his bill would wouldn't affect the law already dealing with first-time offenders, but would change the penalty for subsequent offenders by lowering fines and length of sentences, as well as removing simple possession from the habitual offender statute.