Baton Rouge, Louisiana (January 28, 2014) – Wendy Adams, Executive Director for the Libertarian Party of Louisiana (LPL), testified in favor of marijuana legalization before the House Criminal Justice Committee last week. Ms. Adams stated that “Libertarians believe that it is a violation of our civil liberties to arrest and imprison our fellow human beings, American citizens, for ingesting a plant. This is socially hypocritical when it is perfectly legal to use drugs such as alcohol and tobacco which are much more harmful to the body, particularly when alcohol is most associated with violent behavior.”
The LPL condemns marijuana prohibition laws, saying that they are outdated, ineffective, and do more harm than good. “Louisiana is the incarceration capitol of the world. We have a disproportionate number of minorities in our jail cells, we have got to address these issues.” said Adams.
Adams stated that she speaks not only for the Libertarian Party but as a former Louisiana State Probation and Parole Officer of nine years. “I worked in Orleans and St Bernard Parishes in the criminal justice system, and the war on drugs is a complete failure. Of the southern states, Louisiana has by far the strictest sentencing guidelines for marijuana offenses, and nothing constructive to show for it.” The Libertarian Party of Louisiana opposes this government overreach and seeks to repeal these draconian policies. Louisiana taxpayers spend about $179 Million per year keeping non-violent drug offenders incarcerated; this should be re-examined because what taxpayers really want is sensible, efficient government.
Libertarians want to keep marijuana off the streets and out of the hands our children, by regulating it like alcohol.
Louisiana has already legalized medicinal marijuana; however licensing requirements must be addressed to provide the means for pharmacies to fill prescriptions. Medical marijuana has fewer side effects than most prescription narcotics and is more effective in many cases. We must make treatment available to the sick and to those who are in need.
In addition, the LPL promotes the legalization of industrial hemp, which can be used to produce everyday items such as rope, clothing, and oil, and which would create thousands of desperately needed new jobs. Hemp cannot be used to “get high,” and it is a step towards ending the current prohibition with which the majority of Louisiana voters disagree. Louisiana can take the opportunity to be a front-runner in this industry.
The People of Louisiana have spoken: end marijuana prohibition. The Libertarian Party of Louisiana seeks to accomplish exactly that.