Opinion 19-17

February 26, 2019

Dear :


         This responds to your inquiry (19-17) asking whether a sitting judge may use marijuana if medically prescribed or if recreational use is legalized in New York State. You have subsequently clarified that you are merely curious about the answer, as you do not have a prescription for medical marijuana, and the proposals to legalize recreational use of marijuana have not been enacted into law.


                             The Committee is authorized to answer questions from judges about their own conduct, and, therefore, we do not answer hypothetical or speculative questions (see Judiciary Law §212[2][l]). Accordingly, the Committee declines to respond to your inquiries regarding possible scenarios which may trigger ethical obligations. 


                                                 Very truly yours,

                                                 George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice (Ret.)                                                           Appellate Div., First Dep’t

                                                 Committee Co-Chair

                                                 Hon. Margaret T. Walsh

                                                 Justice, Supreme Court

                                                 Committee Co-Chair