Judge: 18 Years for 18 Grams of Pot Is Ridiculous
But Louisiana Supreme Court's chief justice issued the dissenting opinion
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 5, 2017 2:59 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by the Louisiana Supreme Court shows Justice Bernette Johnson of New Orleans.   (AP Photo/Louisiana Supreme Court)

(Newser) – Is an 18-year prison sentence too harsh for having 18 grams of marijuana? The Louisiana Supreme Court's chief justice thinks so, and she says it's outrageous that her colleagues upheld the punishment. In her dissenting opinion Wednesday, Chief Justice Bernette Johnson said it's ridiculous that a lengthy prison sentence for such a small amount of marijuana would be allowed to stand, the AP reports.

A jury convicted Gary D. Howard of marijuana possession with intent to distribute. A Caddo Parish judge sentenced him as a habitual offender in 2014. Howard's previous convictions include possession of firearm by a convicted felon in 2008. The state Supreme Court's majority ruled there was evidence that Howard packaged the marijuana for distribution, not his personal use.

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