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State Bar opinion on med marijuana lawyer ethics

A State Bar of Arizona opinion says lawyers may assist clients in complying with the state’s new Medical Marijuana Act under certain circumstances.

The issue arose because of a conflict between state and federal law, and that conflict’s intersection with legal ethics.

Although Arizona’s new law legalizes medical marijuana in the state, federal law still prohibits the manufacture, distribution or possession with intent to distribute.

An ethical rule prohibits a lawyer from counseling or assisting a client in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent.

The bar’s Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct issued the ethics opinion Wednesday.

The State Bar says its ethics opinions are advisory in nature and aren’t binding in any disciplinary or other legal proceedings.

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