Opinion 95-129

December 14, 1995


Digest:         A magazine article describing the hazards of smoking marijuana may be given by the judge to defendants whose marijuana cases have been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.2(a)


         A part-time town justice inquires whether it is permissible to give to young defendants who come before the court on various marijuana charges a reprint of a magazine article which consists of an interview with a medical professor and narcotics consultant concerning the possible hazards associated with smoking marijuana. The judge notes that vast majority of such cases are adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. Thus, it is the judge’s hope that if such defendants “were given this material and told to read it, they might at least give pause before smoking marijuana again.”

         The Committee sees nothing objectionable in giving a copy of the article to defendants whose cases have been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal. There is no impropriety or appearance of impropriety in providing the material to such defendants, inasmuch as the cases have been adjudicated by reason of the adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.