Public Defender responds to Rep. Smiley's bath salts letter

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

This is in response to Representative Smiley's letter of 01/28/2011 regarding his role in banning "Bath Salts."

Why do our lawmakers believe that adding more jailable offenses will save our children

from the horrible effects of drug addiction? Putting aside the issue of whether Gov. Jindal

can by executive power, create legislation that can criminalize anything, let’s think about Ms. Hima's situation post Gov. Jindal's unconstitutional manipulation of the legislative process.

Her relative still would face the trauma of his medical condition, and he would still be Addicted to Deadly Substances, only now he would be charged with illegal possession of "Bath Salts".

Once he was released from the hospital he would be arrested by the Sheriff’s Office and jailed until bonded (a process that will cost his family a hefty sum). The District Attorney's office will file a bill of information and order the relative to court to face five to 30 years in jail for Possession of a Scheduled Drug. He will have to hire a lawyer or ask for a Public Defender, at taxpayers expense. Following his trial if convicted, (based on his relative's eyewitness account), he can spend five to 30 years among murders (murderers), rapist(s), and hardened criminals.

Why doesn't Gov. Jindal address treatment? Our Governor would rather cut the

funds to state hospitals and treatment centers, and simply lock up these youthful drug

offenders. But, who pays to feed and house all the prisoners? We already lead the world in the most incarcerated people per capita. If we follow Gov. Jindal's philosophy, why not ban possession of glue, sharpie pens, propane, and matches, all of which can be sniffed, ingested or used to commit crimes.

Alan J. Robert

23rd Judicial District Defender

Louisiana Public Defender Board