Search This Blog


Ganja enforcement change to keep LA grounded

Maybe Louisiana will find itself a bit more grounded as a result of a change in federal marijuana enforcement policy.

This past week, the Pres. Donald Trump Administration announced it would not turn as blind of an eye toward legalization of ganja use in the states. The previous administration essentially had told attorney generals not to prosecute usage in states that decriminalized this. Now, orders have gone out unbinding prosecutors to that.

That means states which, under their law, have decriminalized possession of small amounts of weed, their citizens face increased chance that the federal government will bring them up on charges. Where medical marijuana use has legal status, technically those who use it in any form have a greater risk of arrest for that.


Disasters can't compensate for poor N.O. rule

The only problem is, you can’t count on a disaster occurring every five years or so to cover up mistakes made in governing.

New Orleans proceeds with its infrastructure rebuild after the hurricane disasters of 2005. Given $2.4 billion to accomplish this, about a sixth of that should commence this year, albeit on a pace that would see the last of it completed just before two decades have passed since Hurricane Katrina struck.

The money, gifted by the federal government, has not flowed into the city without controversy. The inspector general’s office of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the distribution, concluded that $2 billion worth of the damage came not from the flooding, but from decades of neglect, and recommended taking back those funds. But the city looks likely to catch a break as it appears that federal officials will ignore that counsel.


Latest LPSC vote answers, raises questions

The first big issue handled by the post-election Louisiana Public Service Commission may have signaled the future direction the body might take.

Last month, the PSC adopted much more free market-friendly regulations regarding hauling hazardous waste. Under the old rules, barriers to entry restricted the number of certified haulers so that only 13 could have licenses to haul any kind of waste. New rules will require review for financial stability and an evaluation of capability and do not allow, as under the old rules, current holders essentially to have a veto power over the granting of licenses and also removes a process that was prohibitively expensive.

Prompting the move, the Legislature passed Act 278 last year, which the new PSC regulations essentially track. However, that law presented a constitutional question, since Art. IV Sec. 21 allocates power over “common carriers” to the PSC. R.S. 45:162 provides a definition for that which includes hazardous waste transport, a point that came up in the House of Representatives debate over the bill. Yet it passed it overwhelmingly in bipartisan fashion, and the Senate did the same.