NEW ORLEANS (AP) — City leaders in New Orleans have approved measures to end penalties for people found with small amounts of cannabis.
WGNO-TV reports that the City Council on Thursday passed several agenda items to end the penalties and also to pardon about 10,000 convictions and pending cases.
City officials say the effort is aimed at helping to gain community trust with police. Another goal is to allow New Orleans police to focus on reducing violent crime in the city.
The station reports that the council doesn’t have the authority to legalize recreational marijuana — but it is able to decriminalize it.
Smoking of cannabis will still be prohibited in public spaces, but that will be ticketed as a violation of the smoke-free air act instead of being handled as a drug offense.