The Ethical Cannabis Lawyer
Last Friday, I spoke on a panel for the American Bar Association (ABA) in Denver. It was the first conference for the ABA’s new Global Cannabis section and the first live event I’ve done since COVID started. The panel discussed “Legal Ethics in International Cannabis.” My colleague Adams Lee participated too, but on another panel covering the international cannabis trade. It was nice to get back out there.
Like all things cannabis, the lawyer ethics part can be a morass— especially when you start looking at international law and the rules of various jurisdictions all around the world. We deal with domestic ethics rules regularly and we have covered aspects of the U.S. regime previously on this blog. In this post, I’ll stay focused on U.S. law, and I’ll do a quick run-through of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) to help spot issues.
Since 1983, almost all states have adopted some version of the RPC, typically with commentary and related opinions. Familiarity with these rules is essential for lawyers. It is also useful for clients who wish to appreciate the standards to which advisors are held, and the contours of the attorney-client relationship.
ABA Model RPC 1.2(d):