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Courts weigh lawyer pot use, advice

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By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) - With the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado, adults over 21 can freely use the drug and will soon be able to buy it in stores. But where does that leave lawyers, who take oaths to uphold state and federal law?

Proposals in both states would make clear that lawyers won't get in ethical trouble for smoking up in accordance with the laws, or for advising clients whose legal-pot businesses break federal law.

Washington's Supreme Court is due to take up the issue Wednesday.

Some states have wrestled with similar questions. Maine and Connecticut have warned that lawyers can risk committing ethical violations for helping clients break federal law, while Arizona says it's OK as long as lawyers caution their clients about the dangers of federal prosecution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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