Lawyer Who Worked in Exchange for Marijuana has License Suspended

Lawyer Who Worked in Exchange for Marijuana has License Suspended

It seems working in exchange for a substance that is illegal is not allowed; you would think a lawyer would know something like that.

Louisiana attorney James Mecca was busted in 2014 for exchanging legal work for marijuana and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor first-offence charge of possessing marijuana. He was sentenced to a suspended 6-month term and he has served a year of probation. But Mecca’s troubles are not over as he has now had his law license suspended as a disciplinary action relating to his cannabis bust.

Authorities used an informant to catch Mecca in a sting operation; she had exchanged marijuana for his legal services before and he had made it clear that the same arrangement was available in the future. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office recorded a phone conversation between the informant and Mecca, which led to a meeting where the informant handed Mecca about a half-pound of marijuana; he was busted with the marijuana soon after leaving the meeting place.

The disciplinary board of the Louisiana State Bar had recommended a two-year deferred suspension for Mecca so he could keep working as an attorney, but the state Supreme Court rejected that recommendation, ordering an actual one-year suspension instead.

"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 justices stated in the written opinion.

While I obviously disagree with people being punished for marijuana, stupidity on the scale exhibited by Mecca is not something you look for in an attorney. He would know the law and know what he did could easily lead to what it did lead to.

Some people just aren’t cut out to be lawyers; maybe he should look into getting in the legal marijuana business instead.