Jason Cantrell, an assistant city attorney in New Orleans, has resigned after being given a summons for marijuana possession. Cantrell was in court when a joint fell out of his pocket in front of a New Orleans police officer. The incident not only cost Cantrell his job but has put his wife, New Orleans City Council candidate LaToya Cantrell in a difficult spot.
Cantrell issued a statement saying she was “angry, embarrassed, and disappointed” with her spouse but declining to withdraw from the race. It strikes me as rather bizarre that a husband found in possession of a single joint would prompt demands for a withdrawal from a campaign. Cantrell however made clear how serious this matter is, stating that she is “very concerned for his health and well-being . . . and encourage Jason to seek the professional.”
I do not wish to downplay any drug use and I do find it outrageous for lawyer to carry drugs into a court. However, this violation is rarely prosecuted in most states and most people would not see this as evidence of an addiction or serious health concern. The question is how to deal with such a matter as a professional matter. There is a trend toward decriminalization. That is not the case with New Orleans, of course, and a prosecutor is particularly held to a high standard of compliance with the laws that he must enforce. However if a prosecutor were found publicly intoxicated or even cited for DUI, should there be a resignation? In an earlier case, we debated this issue earlier with a prosecutor who was both drunk and unruly.
In the end, a prosecutor must charge people with drug violations even if one joint is unlikely to result in a charge. When you combine drug use with introduction of drugs in a courthouse, the matter would be clear for many supervisory officials.
33 thoughts on “New Orleans Prosecutor Resigns After Joint Drops Out of Pocket In the Middle of Court In Front of Cop”
A shame god got tired or if it was Moses who did.
Commandment number 11. Do not commit hypocrisy.
Commandment number 12. Smoking or eating weed is approved in all eternity.
I guess no. 11 is covered somewhere else, but no 12, NO.
God made his first mistake in saying to us that he exists. His second was in saying that we are made in his image.
I think this guy should resign as soon as the police officer who struck the lady in Philadelphia is fired.
I have noticed that there is a tendency to shine the light on prosecutors who appear to have personal issues with alcohol or pot. No light shines on the root of a persistent evil in the American society…JUDICIAL CORRUPTION!
Place all 50 states in Google for Judicial corruption, or YouTube and you will see very sad and destroyed Americans/residents, even visitors who have been victimized by the Justice/Judges of America!
Every year or so, there is a story on a Judge…the year before it was a certain judge of Louisiana, recently, a New York judge who bought his pistol to Court. The fact remains that these are cases designed to show that “NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW” and that in America all is dealt with fairly. Many of us know better!
The facts are, we have a tremendous problem with judicial corruption in this society. If this prosecutor lived in Europe he would not be criminalized. American Justices/Judges ARE VAST HYPOCRITES!
Elizabeth, I hope you remember that a few years ago a judge in Cali. was caught with a pump under his desk which was attached to his penis.
Moral: Justice for all things.:-)
This is the reason Weed should be legal. I am not a smoker. I do not smoke anything. No one overdoses or become violent while smoking.a joint according to many studies.
Having said that:
DYJUI = Doing Your Job Under Influence is a big NO,NO.
The time and money involved with the Law dealing with marijuana, 300 Billion (according to Z) though I think that is low, ……… never mind ….. Exactly what Z said.
Z does your 300 B include the cost of prison, parole, and the huge difficulties convicted felons have in getting good jobs and contributing their honest work efforts back into “normal” society.
First off, this guy’s wife sounds like mine, I feel his pain.
That being said, he has to resign…are ridiculous as the laws are, he’s in a position to be prosecuting the very law he’s breaking and that requires him to be held at a higher (no pun intended) level than the rest of us.
I would hope that his record on prosecuting marijuana ‘offenders’ is a record of leniency.
We’ve seen judges, prosecutors, cops, and many other individuals who “should be better than that” admit to pot use or get caught with pot…clearly people of every segment of our society are using this plant.
Marijuana laws make it EASIER for kids to get pot, creates an unnecessary & dangerous black market, and keeps our cops from going have those who peddle drugs that are ACTUALLY dangerous.
The War on Drugs is a failure. Its proven that decriminalization/legalization results in decreased usage and allows for prevention and rehabiliation for those who have issues with drugs.
Obama has not lived up to his promise, Romney (as I understand it) would likely tighten down harder on pot.
For the life of me, I cannot understand how we ‘keep on keeping on’ with the WoD.
I will be(t)
He should resign, or be fired for this ad I’m for total decriminalization of all drugs. He should go because he showed incredible stupidity in bringing the joint with him into court. Such stupidity and/or arrogance bespeaks a lousy prosecutor. Secondly, I will be that a study of his records will show he has prosecuted marijuana possession cases. If one believes they can prosecute someone for a law they themselves do no respect, than they are unfit for the job.
Finally, as Indio wrote: “marijuana laws are ,in reality, a remnant of racism”.
Amen to that.
He is unsuited for office, the resignation allows him to retain some honor despite his action however.
Regardless of whether the marihuana law is on its way out or not, nor if it seldom results in conviction of a first time offender due to deferred prosecution or judicial warning, it is still illegal in the jurisdiction this prosecutor officiates within.
To allow him to continue working despite the commission of this crime would be tantamount to declaring gov’t officials are above the law. This is not a matter such as speeding 5 miles over the speed limit or failing to signal on a left turn, like a traffic infraction; it is a criminal offense.
The public can forgive the speeding ticket, not the crime.
Moreover, the acquisition of this joint I would venture to say likely could havce come from another source / person. In this case, there could be a situation where the prosecutor could be influenced or blackmailed because the supplier has something over the prosecutor and that could put outside influence upon his cases.
I’m also in favor of stopping the insane war on drugs. Ditto what nick, zarathusthra, etc. said. But clearly this guy has to lose his job, or else the hypocrisy would reach some pretty high levels.
Pretty funny story though, eh?
I just hope that he was a prosecutor who had indulged in prosecutorial misconduct over and over and never been caught for it, so this could be some sort of poetic justice. Otherwise it’s just more psychocuriam.
Oh who cares. Had all parties instead lit up and had a laugh about it, everyone would have gotten on with their day. Marijuana will be legalized. Then may the clucking of some tongues mercifully cease.
When a prosecutor feels free to carry a joint, they don’t care about the drug laws either, and never will The clue bus has arrived.
The war on drugs is insane. Cannabis being a Schedule 1 drug is stupid and insane. That said, this prosecutor has to have the moral authority to prosecute people for these stupid drug laws. And, w/ this blunder, it was forfeited. Regarding the questions posed. Public intoxication in New Orleans is promoted w/ bars having take out windows. So, no a prosecutor should be allowed that indulgence. Not for a DUI, though.
When will the ridiculous WAR on DRUGS end???? Our impotent Government has wasted more than $300,000,000,000, that’s three hundred BILLION dollars, on another unwinnable and foolish war…. Marijuana is much less harmful than alcohol, and ALL of the other drugs which drug companies constantly push on Americans in ever increasing amounts, and which allow them to rake in crimminal amounts of profits…. You can’t turn on the television without being constantly bombarded with commercials for, mostly, unnecessary drugs!!! MARIJUANA SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEGALIZED many years ago!!!!!
Murphy’s law …
They, the prosecutor’s and cops usually have the best….
First. Weed ain’t a drug, it’s a plant that contains drugs.
Second this guy’s”concerned” wife is an ignoramus ,the LD50 for weed is 20000 -40000 grams per kilogram of body weight. (Now thats a big joint!) That makes it safer than water.
Third , we, as a country, are simply embarrassing ourselves with this petty nonsense.
Fourth, marijuana laws are ,in reality, a remnant of racism.
Jazz cigarette anyone?
He absolutely has to resign. Or be fired. Has he prosecuted “low-level” drug cases? Does his office? How is it that he wouldn’t have to resign? Whether it should be the end of his wife’s run is another matter, but I sure hope she isn’t running on law and order. I’m for decriminilization. It is not decriminalized. He made a mockery of his office and showed contempt for the court.
How can he EVER try a possession case again?
How can I as a citizen have respect for the law without having expectations for the law?
Timing is everything.
Absolutely he should resign. Drug possession more than routine traffic violation. Need to draw line somewhere.
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