Friday, June 20, 2014

Ethics of Advising Marijuana Users and Businesses

Under RPC 1.2(d), a "lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal . . ."  Does this cover lawyers advising clients under Washington's new marijuana law, when possession is still a crime under federal law?

To address this, the Washington Supreme Court is considering a new comment to RPC 1.2:

Special Circumstances Presented by Washington Initiative 502
[18]  At least until there is a change in federal enforcement policy, a lawyer may counsel a client regarding the validity, scope, and meaning of Washington Initiative 502 and may assist a client in conduct that the lawyer reasonably believes in permitted by this initiative and the statutes, regulations, orders and other state and local provisions implementing them.
Anyone may comment on the proposal and, as the court receives comments, you can read what others have sent.

You can sign up here to get email notifications of proposed court rule changes. You can also sign up for new opinions, caseload reports, and other information from the Washington Courts.

No comments: