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President's Message: Reefer Madness: Let them Smoke Weed ... Followed with a Kool-Aid Chaser!

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NEVADA LAWYER
EDITORIAL BOARD Michael T. Saunders, Chair Richard D. Williamson, Chair-Elect Erin Barnett, Vice-Chair Patricia D. Cafferata, Immediate Past Chair Gregory R. Shannon Elizabeth Fielder Stephen F. Smith Nancy Harkess Kristen E. Simmons Mark A. Hinueber Scott G. Wasserman Laury Macauley John Zimmerman Leon F. Mead II BOARD OF GOVERNORS President: Alan Lefebvre, Las Vegas President Elect: Elana Turner Graham, Las Vegas Vice President: Laurence Digesti, Reno Immediate Past President: Frank Flaherty, Carson City Paola Armeni, Las Vegas Ryan Russell, Carson City Elizabeth Brickfield, Las Vegas Bryan Scott, Las Vegas Julie Cavanaugh-Bill, Elko Richard Scotti, Las Vegas Richard Dreitzer, Las Vegas Ex Officio Eric Dobberstein, Las Vegas Dean Daniel Hamilton, Vernon (Gene) Leverty, Reno UNLV Boyd School of Law Paul Matteoni, Reno Richard Trachok, Chair Ann Morgan, Reno Board of Bar Examiners Richard Pocker, Las Vegas STATE BAR STAFF Executive Director: Kimberly K. Farmer Bar Counsel: David A. Clark Director of Finance & Information Systems: Marc Mersol Director of Admissions: Dean Gould Program Director: Lisa Dreitzer Asst. Director of CLE: Stephanie Hirsch NEVADA LAWYER STAFF Publications Manager: Jennifer Smith (jennifers@nvbar.org) Nevada Lawyer Coordinator: Melinda Catren (melindac@nvbar.org) Publications Specialist: Christina Alberts (christinaa@nvbar.org) GRAPHIC DESIGN Georgina Corbalan
Message from the President
By Alan J. Lefebvre, Esq., President, State Bar of Nevada
REEFER MADNESS: LET THEM SMOKE WEED …followed with a Kool-Aid chaser!
DOPE, DOPE, DOPE! It has been a part of popular culture since the halcyon days of the ’60s, spawning hazy thoughts and hypocrisy in its wake. It has corrupted the “rule of law.” Here we are, as a state, licensing “medical marijuana” under a façade of “medicine;” the goal of the privilege is to sell more dollars worth of dope, than the value of the statewide slot-drop from the old days. Nevada is the cradle of libertarian thought! We archive the hypocrisy and broadcast it on city-owned TV. http://www5.lasvegasnevada. gov/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1468&doctype=Agenda Item # 55. I went to UC Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department did not come onto campus in order to avoid a dereliction of their duty to enforce the law. Professor Bill McComber, the dip who taught my Philosophy 101 course, jaunted down the bike path to class with a fired joint three days a week. (High he was, but I took this away from his class and it has affected me greatly: “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world,” Von Goethe said. So he was a worthwhile educator!)       We in Nevada are now gearing-up to license medical choom, following in the lead of two other states. We revived a dormant law for the elixir of tax revenue and the lure of easy money. Nevada attracting legit business: Why do it the hard way? Easy divorce was once scorned, too. Nevada converted the rest of the country to its way of thinking once before. Forty years of ignoring the law by rule of elites, and what do we have to show for it other than an acceptance of hypocrisy as a norm; this has been corrosive to the rule of law. At least the drunks in the Prohibition era gave lip service to the law; they awoke from a collective bathtub-gin hangover to repeal the 18th Amendment by the 21st and mouthed respect for the rule of law. We don’t bother. Hypocrisy is now embroidered in our social DNA by this plant material. Some person by the name of “Trinity” (it was almost divine comedy), blurted out, on city government TV, before the City of Las Vegas Planning Commission, “...if the marijuana is medicine, why are we concerned in placing these dispensaries 1,000 feet apart?” This left the power-broker audience uncomfortable, concerned that she might spill the beans. What does this have to do with the bar? I am getting to it. Hold on! Voters approved Question 9 in 2000, amending the state’s constitution to recognize the medical use of marijuana. The law removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have “written documentation” from their physicians that marijuana may alleviate a condition. The law, however, lay largely fallow. Our neighbours to the west did not let the grass grow under their feet. Visit Venice Beach, California, to see a doctor and secure your prescription.
ADVERTISING INDEX
CHARLESTON INSURANCE.............. 20 CLARK COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION.... 43 DURHAM JONES & PINEGAR........... 31 FASTCASE...................................... IBC GATSKI COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AGENCY............................ 7 GREEN INFUSO................................ 24 HOLLAND & HART........................... 15 HUTCHISON & STEFFEN.................. 18 JAMS.............................................. 22 JOHNNIE WALKER RVs.................... 38 KENDALL MEDIATION...................... 16 LAW OFFICES OF NEAL HYMAN...... 11 LAWPAY......................................... IFC LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL BUREAU.....BC LINCOLN GUSTAFSON & CERCOS.... 13 NEEMAN & MILLS........................... 28 PUBLIC LAWYERS SECTION............... 9 STATE BAR OF NEVADA 12, 32, 33, 35, 45 VALLEY ELECTRIC................................21 VERITI CONSULTING........................ 23
THE YEAR 2000 INITIATIVE BY THE VOTERS
ENTER THE 2013 SESSION
Governor Sandoval signed SB 374 in 2013, authorizing the creation of up to 66 medical marijuana dispensaries. Under the law, state regulators are tasked with
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Nevada Lawyer
April 2014
overseeing the creation of licensed establishments to produce, test and dispense cannabis and cannabis-infused products to authorized patients. Medical marijuana products dispensed by state-licensed facilities will be subject to standard state sales taxes as well as a 4 percent excise tax, of which 75 percent will be directed to education and 25 percent will be directed toward implementing and enforcing the regulations. The law is now in NRS Chapter 453A.010-453A.240
WHAT THE LAW LEFT IN LOCAL HANDS
The legal mosaic leaves much room in the land use and zoning powers of local governments, who are enjoying the flex of political muscle. Even with the state constitutional provision mandating access to medical marijuana statewide, local governments are still entering the debate of what zoning restrictions they’ll place on dispensaries, grow houses, edibles kitchens and other medical marijuana establishments. But, this means a legal bonanza: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/ oct/26/its-time-nevada-legalize-marijuana/
BUT IT IS STILL ILLEGAL UNDER FEDERAL LAW
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. So federal government agents could raid and close dispensaries at any time. The marijuana landscape changed in recent months with a U.S. Department of Justice memo that has emboldened investors and marijuana advocates. The same agency, the DOJ, is ever “evolving,” like its boss; the federal law really does not require enforcement, at least not now. http:// www.mpp.org/issues/legalization/
SO THE LEGAL ISSUE  IS: IS YOUR LAW LICENSE SAFE WHEN YOU COUNSEL DOPERS GETTING INTO THE NEVADA MARKET? NOT YET.
Rule 1.2. Scope of Representation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer (d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows 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. Notwithstanding any other provision of these rules, a lawyer shall not be in violation of these rules or subject to discipline for engaging in conduct, or for counseling or assisting a client to engage in conduct, that by virtue of a specific provision of Nevada state law and implementing regulations is either (a) permitted, or (b) within an affirmative defense to prosecution under state criminal law, solely because that same conduct, standing alone, may violate federal law. The underscored portion will likely be considered as an amendment to the rule governing you. The hypocrisy has a life of its own; our system of law now resembles the jurisprudence of a banana republic. Law is truly what is sovereign instead of an individual or individuals. Rulers, like everyone else, must be subject to it, and it limits what they can do and how they can do it. That is what is meant by a government of law and not of men and, for obvious reasons, is the essence of limited government. The “rule of law!” Don’t bet on it. Sloughing to Gomorrah occurred east to west and doubled back. We are no worse in Nevada than the rest of the country, but, we are proving ourselves no better.
Questions? Comments?
Nevada Lawyer welcomes feedback from our readers! Contact us at nvlawyer@nvbar.org.
April 2014 Nevada Lawyer 5

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