CommonSenseNOLA is a non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing a professional cannabis industry to New Orleans. This new, yet ancient, industry has the ability to answer so many of the issues we have to face as a community.
When we review the fiscal issues we face as a city -Orleans Parish Prison consent decree ($11.2 million annually), New Orleans Police consent decree ($11 million annually). The New Orleans Fire Fighters pension fund is only 33% funded ($18 million annually).
By 2016 the city library system will have used all of its reserve funds .The costs to the City of the Sewage and Water Board upgrades will exceed $1billion dollars over the next ten years.
These are serious fiscal questions that we have to change our paradigm to answer. The City can no longer count on large federal grants in an age of austerity.
What CommonSenseNOLA’s solution to these pressing issues is to utilize a culture that has been a part of our history for well over 100 years. In fact, we named our international airport after Louis Armstrong, a user and proponent of cannabis.
As we see the future, it is important for New Orleans to seize the day in taking a lead role in an exploding marketplace.
Realistically, this industry has had a large footprint in our city for a very long time just untaxed and unregulated. Behind the Port of New Orleans, the hospitality industry is the second most important driver of the local economy.
As in any industry, staying ahead of the curve is critical in maintaining our place as a top destination. At the same time we, as a community, can help shape what we want in a twenty first century New Orleans to be.
Please take the time to read our vision of the future of a cannabis industry in New Orleans as a local self-sustainable industry that benefits all of New Orleans. We recognize that the proposed amendment to the City’s Home Rule Charter does not alter state law as cannabis as a banned plant.
However, in a state that does not allow ballot initiatives, this is a tool that we can use to express our desire to see marijuana laws change and the depth of support the people of this city have on ending cannabis prohibition.
Kevin Caldwell moved to New Orleans in 1992 from Virginia and fell in love with the City of New Orleans. The last 15 years he has called the Broadmoor neighborhood home. He has been an active member of this neighborhood serving as Vice President of the Broadmoor Improvement association from 2007-2009 during the critical rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina.
He is currently a Commissioner of the Broadmoor Improvement District. He was an appointed civil servant in the Nagin and Landrieu administrations working as a liaison with the IT and Finance Departments from 2007-2012. He also taught counter terrorism courses to law enforcement officers throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.
Kevin also has 25 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He formed CommonsenseNOLA in late 2013 to help address the cities crisis with violence, lack of economic opportunity and social justice. He graduated from the University of New Orleans in 2003 with a B.S. in Political Science