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About me

I represent clients seeking state licenses to operate cultivation-distribution dispensaries for medical marijuana. This work builds on my 30 years of advocacy and consulting with lawyers across the country on medical marijuana and general marijuana law reform, within the framework of the national legal committee of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). I also advise nonprofits, municipalities and physicians seeking to participate in and comply with Massachusetts' new medical marijuana law. I work with entreprenuers, state and local regulators in helping birth a new industry and build safer, stronger neighborhoods. I also am preparing for 2017 -- when full-adult (non-medical) legalization is expected in Massachusetts -- by working as a primary drafter of the state bill (2015 HB 1561) and the initiative law expected to appear on the November 2016 state ballot. 

My career has focussed on the intersection of the mental health and criminal justice systems, specializing in state prisoner murder appeals and post-conviction proceedings, drug offense trials, civil commitment and coerced psychotropic medication defense, and the reform of criminal drug prohibition and prisons. Besides individual client advocacy, I deliver and design educational seminars on mental health law, government drug policy and prison administration to private bar attorneys, legislators, criminal justice executives, social workers, college students and civic organizations.


Practice areas


  1. Government: 75%
    27 years
  2. Litigation: 15%
    37 years, 200 cases
  3. Violent Crime: 10%
    37 years, 200 cases



Hourly ($275-350/hour), Free consultation (30 minutes)

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Contact info

EvansCutler, Attorneys

Office Commons, Second Floor
90 Conz Street
Northampton, MA, 01060-4131


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Regional Coordinator, four western MA countiesCPCS Mental Health Unit2011
AV Rating (highest legal ability & ethical standards)LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review2009
New/Consulting Attorney MentorCPCS Mental Health and Post-conviction Units2006
Guberman Fellowship in Legal Studies, InstructorBrandeis University, Waltham MA2005
Immigration Detention Standards Implementation CertificateAmerican Bar Association2002
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration, Attorneys2012 - Present
Regional Coordinator, four western MA countiesCPCS (state public defender) Mental Health Unit2011 - Present
New/Consulting Attorney MentorCPCS Post-conviction and Mental Health Units2004 - Present
OwnerThe Law Office of Michael D. Cutler2003 - Present
Senior Trial AttorneyCenter for Public Representation1999 - 2003
National CoordinatorVoluntary Committee of Lawyers1997 - 1999
Contract PartnerLawson & Weitzen, LLP1990 - 1997
PartnerGoodwin & Cutler1977 - 1990
Public DefenderMA Defenders Committee, Trial and Appeals Divisions1975 - 1977
Assistant General CounselMass Dept. of Correction1973 - 1975
Association namePosition nameDuration
Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in MassachusettsMember, 2016 initiative drafting team2014 - 2015
MA Bar Association Drug Policy Task ForceVice-Chair2008 - 2011
Mass Bar AssociationCriminal Justice Section member2006 - Present
Mass Assoc of Criminal Defense LawyersN/A2003 - Present
Voluntary Committee of LawyersMember, Board of Directors2001 - Present
Mass Bar AssociationIndividual Rights Section Council appointed member2000 - 2006
Town of Brookline MAAppointed Member, Town Planning Board1991 - 1996
National Org. for the Reform of Marijuana LawsNational Legal Committee1986 - Present
Brookline Town MeetingElected Precinct Town Meeting Member1983 - 1991
State Committee for Public Counsel ServicesMurder Appeals/Mental Health Def., cert. private bar member1977 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Metrowest Daily NewsThe opioid epidemic: Is relief under our nose? Medical marijuana may reduce overdoses2015
Boston Globe Sunday MagazineMaking Medical Marijuana Work in Massachusetts2013
Report of the Drug Policy Task Force of the Mass. Bar AssociationThe Failure of the War on Drugs: Charting a New Course for the Commonwealth2009
Providence JournalFixing Bay State Drug Policy2007
Providence JournalAn Opportunity for Edwards to Lead2007
Mass Bar Assoc Section ReviewControlling the Use and Abuse of Illegal Drugs2002
Mass Lawyers WeeklyPrice of Public Safety and Spending Priorities2002
Amicus Brief, US Supreme CourtPatient Right to State Regulated Medical Marijuana Despite Federal Prohibition2001
Amicus Brief, WA state supreme courtControlled Substance Scheduling of Marijuana1997
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Boston University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1973
Bucknell UniversityPolitical ScienceA.B.1970
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
The 9th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, West Palm Beach, FloridaFederal and state disability laws and MMJ patients; Representing applicants for state MJ producer/retailer licenses2015
Cutting Edge Issues in Western Mass. Criminal Law PracticeThe Legal Status of Marijuana in Massachusetts2015
The 8th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, Portland OREmpowering Healthcare Providers to Protect and Guide Patient Access to Cannabis2014
Quarterly CPCS CLE for Western MA Mental Health Attorneys, Northampton MAMedical Marijuana & Mental Health Litigation2014
Berkshire Area Health Ed. Center, Inc.: MedMJ, The Evidence for Therapeutic Application & Navigating the New Law, Pittsfield MAThe Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law: Objectives & Operation2014
Assoc. for Healthcare Documentation Integrity, Springfield MAThe Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law: Its Evolution, Impact and Future2014
66th annual Clinical Laboratory Science Convention, Providence RILegal History of Marijuana Prohibition Reform2014
Suffolk University Law School-Boston Conference for Lawyers, Doctors, Legislators and JudgesThe New Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law2013
CPCS quarterly mental health law CLEPreserving mental health trial issues for appeal2012
CPCS MHLD Continuing Education PresentationDefense of Civil Commitment and Coercive Anti-psychotic Medication Proceedings2011
SSDP New England Regional ConferenceState Medical Marijuana Laws and Federal Law2009
Sociology Dept., Univ. of ConnecticutProhibition Reform2009
MA state legislative hearingsMental Health & Criminal Justice Administration2007
New England Regional Meeting, MENSAAmerica's Drug Civil War2002
Annual Conference, Nat. Assoc. of Protection & Advocacy Systems, Washington DCPrisoners' Disability Rights2002
Annual Legislative Policy Conference, MA chapter, Nat. Assoc. of Social WorkersHarm Reduction in the Criminal Justice System2001
Second Inat. Conf. on Prisoners of War in the War on Drugs, Toronto CNHistoric role of lawyers in American anti-prohibition organizing1999