We had a little bit of excitement this week in the New Orleans City Council District B race. In case you missed it, LaToya Cantrell’s husband had the misfortune of dropping a marijuana joint in front of NOPD officers inside New Orleans Criminal Court on Monday, October 1, 2012.
Fortunately for Mr. Cantrell simple possession is slightly decriminalized in New Orleans and he only received a summons. Unfortunately for him he works in the city attorney’s office and according to Mrs. Cantrell’s facebook page, resigned his post. However, as of Friday night, October 5th, reports are saying he is undergoing treatment instead of resigning his position.
When will the madness stop?! This is yet another example of a productive individual reaping the consequences of a failed war on drugs. Whether or not Mr. Cantrell needs treatment for using marijuana is a matter between him and his family, but we also need to be careful about rushing to the conclusion that marijuana users even have a problem in the first place.
If we’re going to insist on every caught marijuana user undergoing “treatment” instead of punishment, then we should first look at actual scientific facts. However, if we truthfully did that we would be forced to say that all alcohol drinkers should undergo “treatment” as well. The point is that marijuana is a much safer substance than alcohol and our current legal system is completely irrational in it’s pursuit of marijuana prohibition.
Yes, Mr. Cantrell is guilty of astonishingly poor judgment, but to risk losing his job and possibly cost his very qualified wife an election is simply insane. This shouldn’t even be a relevant talking point in the news this week.
It is time to legalize marijuana so people can go on about their business in peace. As your next Congressman in the 2nd district of Louisiana I will fight to do just that.