KSWB Receives Guidance from Louisiana ODC Regarding Medical Marijuana Law

On April 10, 2017, W. Scott Keaty and Joshua G. McDiarmid, two attorneys with our office,  transmitted a letter to Richard C. Stanley, Chairman of the Louisiana State Bar Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct (the "Committee"), urging that the Committee provide such guidance.

On May 15, 2016, our office received a letter from Charles B. Plattsmier ("Mr. Plattsmier"), Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel, advising:

"It is my judgment that an appropriate course for this office to take is to acknowledge that Louisiana lawyers have a right and a duty to provide legal advice to clients on how best to comply with state law on the topic of medicinal marijuana. In all instances, the lawyer has a concomitant obligation to advise the client of the facial conflict which exists between Louisiana’s medicinal marijuana law and federal law on the subject. Lawyers who, in good faith, attempt to provide legitimate legal advice and counsel on how best to comply with Louisiana’s medicinal marijuana laws as passed by our state legislature should be permitted to do so. Because the facts and circumstances of every case can differ, however, I do not believe that it is prudent to suggest that a violation of Rule 1.2(d) can never occur.  Such a determination can only be made depending upon the unique facts presented."

This response from Mr. Plattsmier provides critical guidance for Louisiana attorneys seeking to wade through these uncharted waters.