Guido Coppa

In an effort to increase law enforcement focus on violence, New Orleans council will move forward in pardoning simple possession offenses. Under this cannabis decriminalization legislation, thousands of summonses issued by NOPD are pardoned as well as any future summonses, functionally removing penalties for small possession of cannabis in New Orleans.

This, in turn, extends the “Smoke-Free NOLA” ordinance to restrict the smoking of cannabis in public in order to maintain public health protections for all.

“This policy will help NOPD build community trust, plus with saved manpower hours, they can focus on major problems like shootings, murders and overall preventing violence in our city,” President Moreno said. “The time to end the criminalization of cannabis possession is now. It’s clear that we need NOPD focused on violent crime, not victimless cannabis possession.” 

“Studies and data have shown that these laws have historically been enforced in a racially biased manner and have only served to over-incarcerate, over-fine, and stigmatize while failing to stem violence in our communities,” Moreno continued. “It’s time to rethink our public safety strategies to break the cycles that have plagued our communities for decades.” 

Read the entire press release here.