Last updated on: 2/24/2011 | Author:

Harry Nelson, JD Biography

Founder & Managing Partner at Nelson Hardiman law firm
Pro to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“It is no longer tenable to deny the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana. A growing body of research – including studies commissioned by the State of California via the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) – makes the medical benefits of marijuana abundantly clear. This is simply an area where social policy lags behind the data.

In light of the human suffering that is being alleviated through the therapeutic use of marijuana, there is no question that marijuana should be a medical option. This is not to suggest that the government should refrain from any regulation of marijuana. Instead that, just as the government regulates other therapeutic agents with abuse risks – such as narcotic opioids – it should regulate marijuana and marijuana-infused products…

To date, 15 states have taken the step of decriminalizing marijuana for medicinal use and regulating its administration. A similar number of states are in the process of doing so. I believe the evidence will force the remainder of states and the federal government to follow suit. The only question is when, not if.”

Email to, Feb. 24, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder & Managing Partner, Nelson Hardiman law firm, Mar. 2014-present
  • Co-founder and Managing Partner, Fenton Nelson law firm, Nov. 2001-Mar. 2014
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), California Society of Healthcare Attorney (CSHA), California Academy of Attorneys for Health Care Professionals (CAAHCP), Los Angeles County Bar Association, Health Care Section, and American Bar Association
  • Director and Chair of Strategic and Long Range Planning, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy
  • Rated AV Preeminent (highest possible rating) by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system, 2010, 2011
  • Named Southern California Super Lawyer in the field of health care law, 2010, 2011
  • Director and Chair of Strategic Planning and Development, LimmudLA, 2008
  • Wexner Heritage Fellowship, 2005-2007
  • Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys, 1996-2002
  • Partner, Butler, Rubin, Saltarelli & Boyd, 1999-Dec.2001
  • Associate, Butler, Rubin, Saltarelli & Boyd, Nov. 1994-1999
  • Recipient, Certificate of Recognition, State of Hawaii Department of Justice (for teaching brief writing for federal courts class for attorneys in Hawaii Department of Justice), 1994
  • Law Clerk, Honorable Harold M. Fong, US District Judge, federal District of Hawaii, Aug. 1993-Sep. 1994
  • Recipient, Award for Academic Achievement, James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan, 1990
  • JD, University of Michigan, cum laude, 1992
  • AB, Philosophy and Political Science, University of Michigan, magna cum laude, 1990
  • Admitted to practice law before state and federal courts in California, Illinois (1994-present), Hawaii (1994-present), and Michigan (1993-2003)
  • Speaks English, Hebrew, and Portuguese