(PPN) – Louisiana State Representative Edmond Jordan is proposing a way to help minimize the state’s budget deficit. Jordan represents District 29, which encompasses parts of East and West Baton Rouge Parish. Jordan is seeking a bill that would legalize and tax the recreational use of marijuana.
“I couldn’t tell you exactly how much revenue it would generate at this time, but I think it would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars right now”, said Jordan.
Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon,Vermont, and Washington.
In 2017, according to New Frontier Data, states with legalized marijuana were projected to generate approximately $655 million in state taxes on retail sales. Also, the report stated that tax revenues in states with legalized marijuana will reach $1.8 billion, of which $1.4 billion will be from cannabis specific taxes.
Jordan believes that the consumption of marijuana should be used responsibly.
“I don’t think people should smoke marijuana and drive vehicles. I think we should have strict rules related to it to make sure that if people want to partake in it that they do it in the safest manner possible”, said Jordan.
Last week East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council approved an ordinance that decreases the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The change means under Baton Rouge law, if you’re caught with less than 14 grams of marijuana, you face fines only based on the number of offenses:
$40 for first offense
$60 for second offense
$80 for third offense
$100 for fourth offense
Jordan believes that the ordinances passed in Baton Rouge and New Orleans is obviously a closer step in passing it at the state level.
Jordan says that this bill would only address marijuana.