Dilemmas Remain For Colo. Attorneys After Amendment 64

Law360, New York (March 17, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT) -- Colorado's experiment with legalizing marijuana creates significant ethical risks for unwary attorneys. The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit attorneys from counseling a client to "engage, or assist a client in, conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal." However, this straightforward rule has become grayer in light of Amendment 64, which eliminated the meaningful restrictions in the state's criminal code relating to marijuana, even though the possession, sale and use of cannabis remain criminal offenses under federal law.

A 2013 Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee formal opinion, noting the conflict between federal and state law on the subject of marijuana, declined...

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