Man caught with marijuana sentenced to 288 Baby Cakes games

New marijuana punishment being evaluated in New Orleans

An Uptown man has been found guilty of possessing 1.5 pounds of marijuana and conspiracy to sell it, for which the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court has sentenced him to 288 New Orleans Baby Cakes baseball games.

Robert Lewis, 23, was arrested near Audubon Park on Thursday after a traffic stop by a New Orleans police officer.

Being forced to attend Baby Cakes games is part of an experimental program underway in Louisiana to test potential new punishments for lesser crimes. Under current state law, a first-time marijuana offender could be jailed up to six months. The maximum sentence for second-offense marijuana possession is five years in prison and 20 years for third-offense possession.

“Sending someone to our already crowded state prisons for marijuana possession seemed excessive, but at the same time it’s a serious offense because it’s still illegal in Louisiana,” State Representative Joe Schiro, chief proponent of the program, said.

“We thought forcing people to attend Baby Cakes games would be the wake-up call many need to finally kick the drug and also warn others.”

Lewis will begin this week attending 288 consecutive Baby Cakes games — two full seasons worth — to complete his sentence.

“It’s one thing to be forced to attend Baby Cakes games, but to also have to go to Metairie? I’d rather be in jail,” a visibly depressed Lewis cried.

Additional possible punishments that Schiro said are already being tested as part of the program include making offenders drive daily to and from the Westbank in both the morning and afternoon; listening to every talk segment featuring B97’s Stevie G and Teapot, and sitting in on debates by Governor John Bel Edwards.

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