If you think the state of Louisiana is a good place to be facing drug charges, think again. The Bayou State has one of the toughest stances against drug offenders in the country. In fact, the case of a man who was sentenced to 13 years in prison for possessing two joints worth of marijuana should serve as ample proof.
Back in 2010, the man was stopped by two police officers in New Orleans. The officers discovered 2.8 grams of marijuana in his possession. His previous convictions landed him 13.5 years in prison thanks to mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drug offenses in Louisiana. The man's public defender has tried for the last year to get the sentence reduced.
Critics of this type of enforcement argue that over 13 years in prison for a nonviolent offense is overboard. Some are positing that the stop, the trial and the sentencing were all racially motivated, saying that African Americans are disproportionately targeted and punished for drug crimes.
Thankfully, in December, the district attorney in the case reduced the man's sentence down to eight years, which means he'll see the light of day in 2018.
A case like this may underline some of the problems with drug enforcement in this country, but it also serves as a warning to take drug charges very seriously. If you're facing serious consequences because of a drug possession or drug distribution charge, it's a good idea to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. He or she might be able to get a reduced sentence or get the charges dropped altogether.
Source: vice.com, "A Man Sentenced to 13 Years for Two Joints Just Had His Time Reduced," December 12, 2016