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The Right to Practice: Medical Marijuana Lawyers Get Green Light from Nevada Supreme Court

A gavel rests next to a few buds of marijuana in Nevada where lawyers are now free to advise on medical marijuana.


The Right to Practice: Medical Marijuana Lawyers Get Green Light from Nevada Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the Nevada Supreme Court accepted proposed amendments to its professional code for state lawyers, allowing them to provide counsel regarding medical marijuana laws.

The decision comes just one day after Nevada lawyers asked the state bar for guidance in navigating the legal status of marijuana, both on a federal and state level. The Nevada State Bar had previously forbidden lawyers from advising clients to break the law, which impeded their ability to offer services to cannabis industry clients despite the federal illegality of marijuana.

After a unanimous decision, the six judges issued this statement, “a lawyer may counsel a client regarding the validity, scope and meaning of Nevada constitution Article 4, Section 38,” addressing the voter approved medical marijuana measure.

This past Tuesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board issued a memo to its members that advised against any participation in the medical marijuana realm. This memo was supposedly sent in response to proposed involvement by stakeholders in the gaming industry. Lawyers will now have the ability to advise these business shareholders, as well as countless other industries, as to the legal nature of such a memo. They can now also allow potential applicants the legal protection that all Nevada businesses are afforded under the law.

The court went on to say that lawyers providing counsel would be allowed to advise marijuana clientele so long as they also provided advice on navigating the federal laws as well. Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and two states have legalized recreational use by adults.

Nevada has had medical marijuana since 2000, but until 2013 did not have a system in place to tax and regulate sales. There has been a mad dash for licenses in Clark County, the largest county in the state and the one that is home to Nevada’s most populous city, Las Vegas. The county received over 200 applications shortly after being the first county in southern Nevada to open up the application process.

If marijuana was legal in Las Vegas, would you plan your next vacation there? Tell us in the comments below.

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