The Shreveport City Council is set to consider a change to marijuana laws in the city. The change would "implement a fine of $50.00 and/or community service in lieu of imprisonment for simple possession of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, or chemical derivatives thereof."

The measure is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Tabatha Taylor and John Nickelson. It would only include people in possession of fourteen (14) grams or less of the drugs.

If approved, the measure would be enforced by use of summons in lieu of an arrest.

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Here is more information on the proposed change:

If a defendant upon whom a fine has been imposed under this Section alleges indigency, or otherwise fails to pay the imposed fine, the Court must first determine whether the defendant has willfully refused to pay or make bona fide efforts to legally acquire resources to pay; if defendant has not willfully refused to pay and has made bona fide efforts to attempt to pay the fine, the Court shall use its discretion to fashion alternative penalties other than imprisonment, including installment payments or community service. Imprisonment, and/or any other alternative penalties that impose restrictive treatment on defendants greater than they otherwise would have received under this Section if not for their indigency, are prohibited.

This change does not impact anyone in possession of less than 14 grams or any person possession synthetic cannabinoids or if the person is under the age of 18.

A final vote on the measure is set for March 23rd.

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