4 May 2017

Here’s the introduction and link

As if there wasn’t enough uncertainty, legal and otherwise, clouding the general issue of marijuana use in the United States these days, the situation is especially murky for lawyers. After all, even in states where recreational use is legal, it remains illegal at the federal level, and there is nothing close to consensus about how that conflict bears upon a lawyer’s toking for personal enjoyment.

In Washington State—where recreational use is legal—the state bar’s ethics panel issued an advisory opinion in 2015 that gave lawyers a green light to, well, light some green. Even there, however, permission to get high came with a couple of important caveats: First, marijuana consumption must not interfere with lawyers’ ability “to provide competent legal advice and otherwise comply with” their ethical obligations; and second, the conclusion that marijuana use by an attorney does not violate ethics rules “may have to be reconsidered” if the Federal Government reverses course on stated enforcement priorities.