Louisianans for Responsible Reform
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 31, 2014
For two weeks, Louisianans for Responsible Reform has been asking the Louisiana District Attorneys Association to explain its position on SB 323, a bipartisan bill to reform marijuana sentencing laws and bring Louisiana in line with other Southern states.
For two weeks there has been nothing but silence from the LDAA, at least publicly.
Advocate columnist James Gill pointed out in his column yesterday (clickhere), however, that the LDAA has been anything but quiet behind the scenes in an attempt to frighten legislators out of supporting bipartisan reform.
Without deeming it necessary to tell the public why, the LDAA has decided to actively oppose SB 323 through its legislative influence. Relying on the premise that its influence with legislators does not require giving explanations, the LDAA is pursuing a policy of quietly trying to kill legislation that a vast majority of Louisianans from across the political spectrum support - legislation that would save Louisiana taxpayers $20 million a year while protecting families and communities from the devastation that comes from turning regular people into felons.
"When one single interest can subvert bi-partisan legislation that comes with the backing of a broad coalition and the majority of the citizenry, democracy suffers," said Brian Welsh, executive director of the LRR. "But when that subversion occurs without the need for explanation, you start finding yourself in Vladimir Putin territory."
Greg Thompson, Legislative advisor to LRR says the LDAA needs to come clean.
"With so much bi-partisan support and with so much data showing why SB-323 is a good thing for our state, the burden of proof is on the LDAA to show how spending 20 million taxpayer dollars a year and locking up citizens for these minimal offenses makes Louisiana safer."