Bloomberg Law
Nov. 25, 2019, 9:00 PM

New York State Bar Updates Attorney Advice on Medical Marijuana

Melissa Heelan Stanzione
Melissa Heelan Stanzione
Reporter

The New York State Bar Association recently reaffirmed that attorneys can help clients comply with the state’s medical marijuana law without running afoul of professional ethics Rule 1.2(d), prohibiting counseling a client to break the law.

Federal law prohibits the sale, possession, or use of marijuana but enforcement exceptions have been made for medical marijuana, including the now-rescinded Cole Memo and the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment.

So the question in this “unusual legal situation” is: Can an attorney counsel a client to undertake an act that’s legal in that state but illegal under federal law that’s deliberately unenforced? the opinion said.

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