Two (More) Reasons Not to Bring Drugs to Court

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1. You Are There for a Probation Hearing on Drug Charges

This is not the first time someone has put drugs in the little box they give you at the X-ray machine, but it's the first time I'm aware of that such a person has been at the courthouse for a probation hearing on drug charges involving the same drugs.

According to the Huffington Post, a man was going through security at the courthouse in Kane County, Illinois, on Wednesday when he set off the metal detector. Back he went, and when he emptied his pockets, in addition to whatever metal he was carrying he produced a bag containing three grams of cocaine and put it in the tray. "It was kind of like, oops," an officer said. The man tried to flee immediately post-oops, but was unsuccessful.

This likely made his scheduled hearing, to discuss an alleged probation violation regarding a 2006 cocaine-delivery charge, a little awkward.

2. You Are There to Represent Somebody Else

Almost as awkward was the incident on Monday in Orleans Parish magistrate court, in which a joint fell out of an attorney's pocket while he was talking to two police officers. See "New Orleans assistant city attorney cited for marijuana violation, butterfingers," New Orleans Times-Picayune (Oct. 1, 2012).

The 43-year-old attorney is apparently also a public defender and, the mayor's office was quick to note, was not working as a city attorney at the time of the butterfingers. He seems to have been chatting with two officers who were waiting, and presumably was going through his pockets for something other than a joint when the joint appeared.

Sources painted a comical picture of the incident, saying a pair of cops glanced at the joint on the ground, then at each other before making arguably the easiest collar in the annals of policework.

Officers were seen chuckling as their colleagues led [the man] out of the courtroom about 4:15 p.m. to write him up.

Fortunately for him, New Orleans is progressive enough that simple pot possession is only a municipal offense, so he got a ticket and was not arrested. Unfortunately for him, his wife is currently running for office.

"I absolutely do not condone his actions," she said in a statement apologizing for her husband, and then arguably went just a little over the top in trying to distance her campaign from him. "I love my husband unconditionally," she said, "and am very concerned for his health and well-being …. I hope that this incident will encourage [him] to seek professional help." I'm also a little concerned for his health and well-being, but not because of the marijuana.