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Who We are. Our mission


SMPL is an organization dedicated to statewide coalition building, sound policy research, education and advocacy for substantive drug law reform. We are headquartered in the capitol of Baton Rouge where we lobby at the local and state level, but have affiliates in every major city throughout Louisiana. The SMPL board is a dynamically diverse mix of professionals who share one passion in common for making our laws for marijuana both modernized and civilized. We bring to the task a varied mix of seasoned and younger advocates, different political orientations, ethnicities, sexes, socio-economic backgrounds, birthplaces and skill sets or expertise. By going public with our growing coalition and amplifying publicly available information, we seek to help expose the ulterior motives of the vested drug warriors and undo some of the deep damage that results from the stigmatism of any non-violent fully consenting private consumption of a naturally occurring medicinal plant. learn more

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Interested in helping out? SMPL is a 501c4 registered non-profit funded entirely by donations.


Latest News

With support for marijuana legalization stronger than ever before, the issue of cannabis reform is slated to become a prominent issue in the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump, seeking a second term as President of the United States, is expected to earn the Republican party’s nomination. Trump has yet to take any notable actions related to marijuana, neither positive or negative, since taking office. On the Democrat side, an abundance of declared primary candidates will battle in the primaries for … read more

It’s time for drug policy reform – in America and across the globe America’s “war on drugs” has failed. We need more policies that treat drug abuse as a public health issue Earlier this month, a Philadelphia judge rejected federal objections to the opening of what will be the nation’s first legal overdose prevention site—paving the way for other jurisdictions to bring this lifesaving tool to their communities. Overdose prevention sites are facilities where people can use drugs under medical supervision by staff … read more

Private prisons in the United States incarcerated 121,718 people in 2017, representing 8.2% of the total state and federal prison population. Since 2000, the number of people housed in private prisons has increased 39%. However, the private prison population reached its peak in 2012 with 137,220 people. Declines in private prisons’ use make these latest overall population numbers the lowest since 2006 when the population was 113,791. States show significant variation in their use of private correctional facilities. Indeed, the … read more

Colorado lawmakers for the first time are preparing to map out a possible divorce from the private prison industry, and a long-shuttered maximum-security prison could be part of the solution. A committee tasked with managing the state’s prison population has been workshopping a proposal that calls upon the Colorado Department of Corrections “to study how to end the practice of using private prisons by 2025 in a responsible way.” The proposed bill also calls for Colorado to begin housing inmates … read more

(CNN)Sen. Bernie Sanders released a comprehensive plan late Thursday afternoon to legalize marijuana, begin a process to expunge old pot-related convictions and take steps to shape the emerging legal sales industry. The proposal dropped, winkingly, at precisely 4:20 PM ET. Sanders, a longtime proponent of marijuana legalization, would also ban tobacco companies from getting into the increasingly lucrative business, while creating a $20 billion grant program — using tax revenue from marijuana sales — to provide new capital to minority … read more

Louisiana has awarded business licenses to 775 companies that want to sell CBD products. The state’s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) received more than 1,000 permit applications after passage of a law outlining how retailers can sell products containing CBD. The ATC started the process in June. Liquor stores, gas stations and CBD-specific shops were among the first businesses cleared to sell CBD. Sellers must meet a lengthy list of requirements to receive licenses. The CBD products must carry scannable bar … read more

In a study published this week in the journal Economic Inquiry, researchers found that the legalization of adult-use cannabis reduced opioid overdose deaths by 21%. The study, carried out by economists at the University of Massachusetts and Colorado State University, found that legalization had “particularly pronounced effects for synthetic opioids” such as fentanyl. “Our principal finding is that recreational marijuana access significantly decreases opioid mortality, with the most pronounced effects for synthetic opioids,” the researchers concluded. The effect “stems primarily … read more

  The American Bar Association (ABA) adopted a resolution on Monday that calls on Congress to allow states to set their own marijuana policies and recommends rescheduling or descheduling cannabis under federal law. Members of the ABA House of Delegates approved the measure at the organization’s annual meeting in San Francisco and, according to the ABA Journal, it was broadly supported—passing “without audible opposition”—even after proponents waived their time to speak. Though ABA specified that it was not taking a … read more

  The federal drug scheduling system inhibited research into CBD that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now scrambling to conduct following the legalization of hemp and its derivatives, a top agency official said on Tuesday. Speaking at the National Industrial Hemp Council’s 2019 Hemp Business Summit, FDA Principal Associate Commissioner for Policy Lowell Schiller gave an extensive overview of the agency’s role in regulating cannabis products, repeatedly stressing that FDA is “excited” about cannabidiol’s potential. That said, Schiller … read more

MADISONVILLE, La. — Medical marijuana dispensaries opened Monday across Louisiana. The one on the Northshore, in Madisonville, had a steady flow of patients. There were children with autism, octogenarians with glaucoma, and all ages and medical conditions in between. First in line at the North Shore location was 80-year-old former state senator Tony Guarisco. Back in 1978, he wrote the first law for therapeutic use of marijuana. He was a young man then, in his late thirties. “Here generations have … read more

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