Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Colorado amends comment to Rules of Professional Conduct to deal with concerns about providing legal advice regarding marijuana

Because many aspects of the use of marijuana and the marijuana industry violate federal law, there is some debate as to whether counseling clients about legal matters related to state legalized marijuana would be a violation of the rule that bans an attorney from helping a client commit a crime. In response to these concerns, the Colorado Supreme Court has adopted a new Comment to Rule 1.2, which says that a lawyer "may counsel a client regarding the validity, scope, and meaning of Colorado constitution article XVIII, secs. 14 & 16 and may assist a client in conduct that the lawyer reasonably believes is permitted by these constitutional provisions and the statutes, regulations, orders, and other state or local provisions implementing them. In these circumstances, the lawyer shall also advise the client regarding related federal law and policy." Prof. Andrew Perlman shares his views on the issue at the Legal Ethics Forum.

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