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Louisiana Lawyer Allegedly Paid with Marijuana
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Summary: A lawyer was suspended for accepting marijuana in lieu of cash. 

Sorry, pot heads. Marijuana is still not considered currency, at least not in the state of Louisiana.

  
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The Louisiana Bar has suspended the license of attorney James Mecca after the state Supreme Court rejected a disciplinary council’s recommendation to let him keep working, according to ABC News.

In 2015, Mecca pled guilty to possessing marijuana, a misdemeanor in the state. He was sentenced to six months in jail, but he was released early on probation.

Mecca was caught after the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office ensnared him in a sting operation. An informant had told the police that she paid Mecca in pot, and when she went to him again for legal help, he said she could pay him the “same old, same old.”

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During the sting in 2014, the snitch told Mecca that she had a big backpack full of reefer, and the police recorded that conversation. Afterwards, Mecca drove away with the marijuana, and in his excited state, he allegedly ran a stop sign. Police stopped him for the traffic violation, and he was arrested for running the stop sign and intending to distribute half a pound of pot.

Mecca was disciplined with a one-year suspension, even though a deferment was originally recommended to the Supreme Court.



“Considering that respondent bartered his legal services for illegal drugs, directly implicating the practice of law and causing harm to the legal profession, we will not defer any portion of the suspension,” four of the seven Louisiana Supreme Court justices said in their written opinion.

Possessing, using, and distributing cannabis is illegal under federal law; but recently, numerous states have passed legislation allowing pot to be used for medicinal purposes. Some states such as Colorado even allow recreational usage, and the law change has created a booming economy for those jurisdictions. After the passing of legalized marijuana in certain states, the Department of Justice stated that it would not prosecute.

Source: ABC News

What do you think of Mecca’s case? Let us know in the comments below. 



 

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