New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu has signed the recently unanimously-passed decriminalization ordinance as of today!
The ordinance, which calls for a verbal warning for first time offenders, a written warning for second time offenses, and a $100 fine for third and subsequent offenses, will officially go into effect on June 21, 2016. If properly enforced, the new measure is expected to significantly reduce Orleans Parish’s overcrowded prison population, and save the city a substantial amount of taxpayer money. This change is also expected to allow NOPD to focus their overburdened resources on more serious violent crimes.
Councilwoman Susan Guidry, who proposed the ordinance, summed up it’s intent by stating: “Our hope is fewer people will be brought to jail and fewer people will have their lives disrupted.” A historic step forward for New Orleans and the city at large!