Lawyers’ pot question sent to Wash. bar association

SEATTLE — A question to the Washington Supreme Court concerning marijuana and the state’s ethics rules for lawyers has been referred to the Washington State Bar Association.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said Friday the justices have asked the state bar association to expedite its consideration of the proposed rule changes from the King County Bar Association.

Some lawyers are worried that if they advise their clients on how to navigate the fledgling marijuana industry’s legal complexities they might get in trouble themselves. That’s because marijuana is still illegal under federal law and lawyers aren’t supposed to help their clients break the law.

The lawyers are asking for a change in the rules to make it clear that they won’t get in trouble for giving pot-related legal advice, or for smoking marijuana themselves, as long as they’re not smoking at work.

A similar question has been asked of the Colorado high court.

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