Saturday, January 22, 2022
No To Stoned Judges
An opinion issued last year by the Maryland Judicial Ethics Committee
Issue: May a judicial appointee obtain and use medical marijuana?
The committee considered ethics opinions from other states, particularly California on a judge's proposed grow license as well as its own prior opinion
The Committee concluded that as long as “federal laws make the possession, use, manufacturing and/or distribution of marijuana (cannabis) illegal, a judicial [employee] may not participate in the growing, processing, or dispensing of the substance regardless of the purpose.”
The California Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions reached a similar result in California Judicial Ethics Formal Opinion 2017-010, citing this Committee’s Opinion No. 2016-09 and the Washington Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee Opinion 15-02.
Just say no
In short, the applicable legal landscape on which that opinion was based has not significantly changed since 2016. The facts here differ only in that the Requestor would be a user rather than a grower, processor, or dispenser of medical cannabis. We are not persuaded that that difference supports a different result.