One small step for lawyers, one somewhat bigger step for cannabis legitimacy.
Recently, Shabnam Malek founded the National Cannabis Bar Association. The mission of the NCBA is to be, “a specialty bar association dedicated to providing attorneys in the cannabis industry with educational and networking opportunities to help them better serve cannabis businesses.”
According to Malek, more and more states will follow the example of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia by either decriminalizing or outright legalizing cannabis. When that happens, he foresees the legal issues growing more complicated before they get more rational.
Really, the NCBA is a bold step towards legitimacy. When money and attorneys begin to flock toward an industry, the writing is all but on the wall that it is going to be here for the long haul.
And this is most definitely an industry that needs a robust legal system in place. Until the federal government pulls its collective head from its collective ass and reschedules cannabis accurately (it should be more on par with caffeine than with heroin), lawyers are going to be a necessity.
Even after that, there are just no laws that exist to set precedent in the cannabis space. When weed was entirely illegal, it really didn’t matter what people were doing with it and what their legal troubles were. You had weed, you broke the law. End of story. There was no cause for the minutia and stark definition of statutes that comes from legit enterprise.
It’s a double edged sword. It is good for the movement over all, but it is simultaneously a coffin nail for the simple days of cannabis, before it was sucked into the morass of capitalism. Mostly, though, I’m happy about it. There is little we (or anyone else) can do that will stop the wheel of progress. If we are going to be in a world that welcomes weed, we should damn well have some cannabis lawyers out there to make sure we don’t smoke ourselves into trouble.