According to at least one reputable study, alcohol is 114 times more harmful than marijuana. Marijuana is also safer than tobacco and pharmaceuticals, both of which are legal. Knowing that, why does Louisiana have such harsh marijuana laws? A man is serving a 13 year sentence for possessing two marijuana joints in Louisiana. That’s right, a jail bed is being reserved for 13 years for a person who possessed two joints. There are pedophiles that serve less time than that, but sadly, that’s how the State of Louisiana treats marijuana.
One would think that a Governor would learn of this colossal waste of taxpayer dollars and would step up and grant clemency. However, Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal had the opportunity to do just that, but refused to do so. Per Anthony Papa’s article on Alternet:
Bernard Noble, an individual serving 13 years for possessing two marijuana joints applied for clemency and was recently denied. The reason behind the denial was he had not yet served 10 years in prison. Bernard’s sentence is a prime example of the draconian nature of the marijuana laws in many states across the country. In stark contrast to Louisiana, many states have decriminalized possession of marijuana for personal use, with the offense being punishable by a fine and with no threat of jail time.
This is truly a case of injustice and the vehicle of clemency is totally appropriate here. But for some reason Gov. Jindal and his administration refuses to show compassion and follow the recent lead of President Obama who granted clemency to twenty two prisoners this March.
No one should serve even one minute in a jail cell for marijuana, let alone 13 years. How is this man such a danger to society that he needs to lose his freedom for so long? In Oregon, where I live, I’ll be able to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana starting next week. So why is Louisiana so far behind on the times? I don’t think I could ever live in Louisiana as a result of their ultra-harsh marijuana laws, or even visit for that matter, no matter how beautiful the state is.