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South Dakota Bar Warns Lawyers that Counseling Marijuana Clients Might be Ethics Violation – Not First State to Say So

Jan. 6, 2021—In fall 2020, South Dakota voters approved measures to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana. See Marijuana Reforms Win Big at the Polls. In January 2021, however, the South Dakota State Bar Association warned attorneys that providing legal services to marijuana businesses would violate the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct (i.e., the bar’s code of...

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California Issues (Draft) Formal Ethics Opinion for Attorneys Advising Marijuana Clients

Nov. 14, 2019—It escaped my attention earlier, but it looks like the California Bar Association in June issued guidance for California-licensed attorneys informing them of what legal services they may (and may not) ethically provide to marijuana clients. The 16 page opinion from the State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) can be found...

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ABA Passes Resolution Calling Upon Congress to Reform Federal Marijuana Policy

Aug. 19, 2019—I am pleased to report that the American Bar Association (ABA) just adopted a resolution urging Congress to reform federal marijuana laws. The resolution declares: RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges Congress to enact legislation to exempt from the Controlled Substances Act any production, distribution, possession, or 3 use of marijuana carried out in...

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UPDATE: The Criminal Case Against a San Diego Marijuana Attorney has Settled

Jul. 28, 2018—Back in September 2017, I blogged about the criminal case against a San Diego marijuana law attorney, Jessica McElfresh, and her client, Med West. The case began in January 2016, when San Diego officials raided Med West, a medical marijuana dispensary. The county suspected Med West had been illegally manufacturing concentrated cannabis oil. But the...

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The Ongoing Criminal Case Against a San Diego Marijuana Law Attorney

Sep. 29, 2017—Back in May 2017, the San Diego County District Attorney filed criminal charges against a medical marijuana dispensary (Med West) for allegedly producing concentrated cannabis oil using dangerous chemicals. I discuss the key statute involved in the case on pages 305-07 of my book. Even more notably, the district attorney also filed charges against the...

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