Lawyers Can Help Marijuana Businesses Without State Bar Penalty -- for Now

Categories: Marijuana Biz

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For the next few months, Arizona lawyers can assist the needs of marijuana businesses without any repercussions from the State Bar.

In a recent news release, the Bar noted that it hasn't taken any official stance on legal work related to Proposition 203, despite public comments by its ethics attorney about potential pitfalls for lawyers.

Ethics specialist Patricia Sallen told the news media last month that ethics guidelines should prevent attorneys from using their services to help people break the law. And she pointed out that, despite Prop 203, possessing or selling marijuana still violates federal law.

We questioned Sallen's advice on this matter the first time we heard it. The fact is, selling bongs is also against federal law, but we're pretty sure most of the Valley's smoke shops can find legal advice when they need it.

Still, the State Bar intends to come up with guidelines for lawyers concerning Prop 203-related businesses. Apparently, the Bar's decision might include anything from a proclamation that the Arizona lawyers can provide legal advice to the businesses to an official prohibition against such work.

According to the news release:

The State Bar of Arizona will review the new law and provide guidance in advance of the law's implementation, currently scheduled for late March 2011.

In the interim, the State Bar will not take regulatory action against attorneys for counseling or assisting clients in the implementation of the medical marijuana law during this period.

Honestly, it seems plain silly that voters could pass a law which allows a new industry to crop up, only to have the State Bar tell lawyers they can't give advice to that industry.

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Prescott Cannabis Patient Screening Center, LLC

PCPSC, LLC specializes in providing Doctor Recommendations for Medical Cannabis, Detailed Treatment Plans, Patient Verifications.


Thats OK! Don't help with prop 203? We should push a bill through in 2012 that requires all politicians in the state to take random drug and alcohol tests before all meetings commence. If they are found to be intoxicated, they are removed!!


If I was a lawyer, I'd have to say I was just helping them follow state law.

Charles Ward
Charles Ward

Is the fix in at the state bar? She has a problem with lawyers helping people break the law? Come on, that's what lawyers are for, for God's sake.


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