By Ed Anderson
BATON ROUGE -- A House committee today unanimously approved legislation to require persons convicted of two or more felony drug charges to carry a special license with the words "DRUG OFFENDER" imprinted in orange.
The House Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works sent House Bill 139 by Rep. Rickey Hardy (Email), D-Lafayette, to the full House for more debate.
"It is meant to be a deterrent" and alert police officers of a potential danger with the driver stopped, Hardy told the panel.
The bill would require all drug offenders who have been convicted of two or more felonies to carry the special licenses for eight years.
- Why not for life?
The bill originally applied only to those convicted of possession with intent to sell drugs or manufacturing drugs, but was amended by Rep. Jerry "Truck" Gisclair (Email), D-Larose, to apply to individuals convicted two or more felony possession charges.
Staci Hoyt, administrator for the office, estimated the state has at least 3,000 felons who would qualify for the "DRUG OFFENDER" license. The state already issues drivers licenses with the words "SEX OFFENDER" for persons convicted of sex crimes. [There are more opportunities for drug rehabilitation in Louisiana. Drug use and child abuse (including sex crimes) will increase in Louisiana because of this.]
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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin