Trial Attorneys – Possessing Marijuana Gets You Sanctioned

Categories: Lawyer Blog Posts.

In August 2009, a deputy prosecuting attorney was arrested for possessing marijuana and entered a diversion program, thereby admitting the offense. A disciplinary action was brought against him and he entered a conditional agreement with disciplinary counsel, which recommended a public reprimand. The Court did not like this recommendation, but went along with it anyway.

A lawyer’s possession of marijuana involves a nexus with the chain of distribution and trafficking of illegal drugs. The impact of that association affects adversely the public’s perception of the lawyer’s fitness to be an officer of the court. See Matter of McNeil, 704 N.E.2d 114 (Ind. 1998). And “[w]hen the law is broken by one whose job it is to enforce the law, the public rightly questions whether the judicial system is worthy of respect.”