It’s the “world’s oldest profession” and apparently, in Louisiana, the world’s toughest to enforce the law against. This is what spurred New Orleans legislator Austin Badon to file a bill banning solicitation by panhandlers. This would make it easier for the cops to arrest prostitutes not as hookers but as beggars. Of course this means that many beggars may be arrested who have no means to deal with any charges filed or bail themselves out of jail. Come to think of it, some may make it so they are arrested in order to procure the hobo desideratum, “three hots and a cot.” But there is something else to consider using Badon’s bill as a starting point. Despite the best efforts of the most technologically advanced civilization on Earth, the problems of the ancient world have somehow survived but don’t worry, Louisiana law enforcement is on the job.
Badon was interviewed by Reuters and asked what spurred the panhandling bill, he replied that the beggars in question weren’t so bad off and are “…paying their cell phone bills, they’re paying their computer bills. It’s a racket.” It’s a racket that is going to allegedly be stopped by an even bigger racket, law enforcement, and Badon should know this all too well. Badon has tried unsuccessfully, twice, to get a bill to the floor that lessens the penalty for simple marijuana possession and then moves toward legalizing Mary Jane all together. Some of the loudest and best connected opposition to Badon’s laudable efforts have come from… you guessed it, law enforcement. And just why would the Sheriff’s Association act so forcefully against legalizing pot? Because we lead the entire planet in people incarcerated for marijuana use and Badon’s bill would end the bong-based gravy train, meaning, this legal racket does to otherwise innocent people what the world’s oldest profession does to guys named John.