Assistant city attorney arrested after marijuana fell from his pocket in court

Attorney Jason Cantrell  
By: David Ross 

An assistant city attorney in New Orleans was arrested when a marijuana joint fell out of his pocket in court while talking with police officers.

On Monday while officers sat in a courtroom waiting to testify in a case, they spoke with City Attorney, Jason Cantrell, 43, when all of a sudden they saw a marijuana joint falling out of his pocket.

Two police officers glanced at the marijuana joint on the ground, then at each other. They told the attorney that they have to arrest him for possession of marijuana. Cantrell, who has lost a race for a juvenile court judgeship in 2009, complied. Cantrell is the son of Magistrate Commissioner Harry Cantrell.

Thanks to a new law passed in 2010 Cantrell was given a summons and let go. Under the new law passed in late 2010 by the city council, pot possession is now a municipal offense, allowing police to issue a summons rather than arrest and book an offender on state charges.

“Cantrell is a first-time offender, he was issued a summons for possession of marijuana, Officer Garry Flot, an NOPD spokesman said.
Officers were seen snickering as their colleagues led Cantrell out of the courtroom about 4:15 p.m. to write him up. Cantrell was suspended without pay pending an investigation.

Cantrell has practiced civil and criminal law in New Orleans for 17 years, including 6 as a public defender in Juvenile Court.
The City Attorney's Office, which normally prosecutes municipal cases, has recused itself in Cantrell's new pot case.