May 22, 2019 Substantive Law

Estate Planning for Mary Jane and Other Marijuana Users

By Gerry W. Beyer and Brooke Dacus

Reprinted with permission from Probate & Property, March/April 2019 (33:2), at 16-20. ©2019 by the American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

An estate planner is more likely to encounter a client who regularly uses marijuana than a client who needs estate and gift tax planning, given that 55 million Americans are current users. Christopher Ingraham, How Many Americans Regularly Use Pot: The Number Is, errr, Higher Than You Think, Wash. Post, Apr. 20, 2018. At least 32 states and the District of Columbia currently exempt qualified users of medicinal marijuana from penalties imposed under state law. Additionally, ten states, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia authorize purely recreational use. See Legal Recreational Marijuana States and DC, ProCon.org (last visited Nov. 11, 2018). Accordingly, practitioners need to be aware of the interface between marijuana and estate planning.

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