This Man Is Serving More Than 13 Years In Prison For Two Joints Worth Of Marijuana

LOUISIANA: This summer, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) signed a bill that significantly decreases criminal penalties for marijuana possession in the state. But for some prisoners already serving time on marijuana charges, the state’s old draconian drug laws continue to apply.

Take the case of Bernard Noble. A 49-year-old father of seven, Noble is serving more than 13 years behind bars in Jackson Parish Correctional Center in Jonesboro. His crime: being caught with the equivalent of two joints’ worth of marijuana in 2010. He has no chance of parole. The state Board of Pardons and Parole rejected Noble’s petition for clemency in May simply because he hasn’t served 10 or more years in prison yet — state law requires inmates to have been in custody of the Department of Corrections for a minimum of 10 years before they’ll consider an inmate’s application for clemency.

 

Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Bills That Reform Criminal Penalties, Medical Marijuana Access

LOUISIANA:  Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday signed two bills that in one year represent more progress on reforming marijuana laws than the state has made in the 24 years since legalizing medical marijuana in 1991.

In the case of one of the bills, which would set up a framework for dispensing marijuana for medical purposes (SB 143), it will make Louisiana the first state in the South to make marijuana available for a wide range of chronically ill patients. The state passed medical marijuana legislation in 1991, but never set up a framework for how the state would cultivate, prescribe or dispense the drug.

The other bill (HB 149) would reform criminal penalties for marijuana, making it a misdemeanor rather than a felony for a second offense of marijuana possession. It also allows first-time offenders to erase their first conviction for possessing marijuana if they don’t re-offend within two years.

GOP Hopefuls Criticize Obama Marijuana Policy But Hedge On Their Own

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Republican presidential hopefuls are united in blasting President Obama for his chaotic enforcement of marijuana laws, but the unity quickly breaks down when they are asked how they would handle things if they were in the White House.

Some have sent mixed signals, saying state decisions should be respected while questioning how Mr. Obama has respected those decisions. Others have refused to say how they would wield the federal bureaucracy against marijuana.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is one of the few potential candidates to take a firm stance, saying he would insist on following federal statutes that outlaw the drug.

“I don’t think you can ignore federal law,” Mr. Jindal told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who asked whether the governor would “bring the hammer” down on pot stores in states with legalization laws. “Federal law is still the law of the land. It still needs to be enforced.”