Guam bar joins other jurisdictions in relaxing rules for cannabis


Guam – With the adult-use of cannabis now legal, lawyers attempt to adjust their standing rules of professional conduct in order to be able to provide legal guidance to clients, on Guam’s marijuana-related laws. 

The Guam Bar Association adopted the resolution amending its professional code of conduct during their annual meeting on Tuesday. The resolution states  “A lawyer may counsel or assist a client regarding Guam’s marijuana and cannabis-related laws. If Guam law differs from federal law, the lawyer shall also advise the client regarding federal law and policy.”

According to the GBA, several states and state bar associations have since modified their rules of professional conduct to address this same issue.

These state jurisdictions include Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Maine, Hawaii, Colorado, Minnesota, Connecticut, New York, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,. Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

Prior to the resolution, the GBA rules restrict lawyers from doing this. “A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyers known is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.”

The provisions prevent or limit a lawyer’s ability to fully and appropriately counsel and advise clients on Guam’s marijuana and cannabis-related laws, as they conflict with or differ from federal laws.

This is not the first attempt to amend rules of procedures in the court of law in response to  cannabis legalization, according to a release from the GBA.

As of last month, recreational marijuana is legal in around 10 states and territories. Medicinal use is allowed in at least 30 states and territories.

According to GBA, a petition will be made to the Supreme Court for their consideration.