Saturday, December 28, 2013
Concluding on a high note: student papers highlight diversity of important marijuana law and policy topics
I was eager and excited to teach a law school seminar this past term focused on marijuana law, policy and reform in part because I have come to see how many diverse and dynamic legal and policy issues are raised and impacted by states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana use. Last week, my students providing a fitting final demonstration of this reality when they turned in their final papers. Below I provide the titles of the seminar papers submitted for this course:
You’re Fired…Maybe: How the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Will Affect Employee and Employer Relations
The Anonymous Online Black Market
The Pliant Majority: Cognizing the Attitudinal Shift Toward Marijuana Legalization in America
The War on Federalism: Battleground Medical Marijuana
Federal Sentencing in Marijuana Offenses: How Should Federal Judges Reflect the National Changes in Policy When Sentencing Marijuana Offenders?
Marijuana or Xanax: the Lesser of Two Evils
Marijuana Policy and Immigration Law: Policing Borders, Blurring Lines, and Reforming Policies
Privacy Concerns Within the Ever-growing Marijuana Industry
Responsible Smoking – A Guide to Police Powers in a Recreational-Use State
Nuestra Voz Entre La Hierba: the Latino Vote and Marijuana Reform
“Weed Here, Get Your Weed Here!”:The First Amendment and Advertising Legalized Marijuana
Keeping the Flashing Lights On: Using Civil Forfeiture to Fund Law Enforcement by [Not] Punishing Drug Offenders
Additional Revenues for the City of Detroit and State of Michigan: An Initiative for Legalized Marijuana within the City of Detroit
Legalize and Tax Marijuana: The Path to a Better Fiscal Future for Ohio
A Guide to Marijuana Reform in the Buckeye State: How and Why Ohio Should Lead America’s March Towards Marijuana Legalization
Starting a Retail Marijuana Business: Colorado or Washington?
As these paper titles highlight, students used their final papers as an opportunity to explore employment law, cyber-law and markets, public opinion trends and minority voting patterns, privacy law, federalism, the First Amendment, federal sentencing and civil forfeitures, immigration law, and health law as well as the array of tax and business issues that surround marijuana reform policies and practices. (Once I finish grading all the papers, I am planning to post some or all of them in this space if I surmise there is reader interest.)
In some future "wrap-up" posts, I hope to discuss more broadly what I thought worked best (and did not work so well) in my development of this seminar. I also want to discuss a bit why I think I should probably wait until late 2015 or early 2016 to teach a course like this again.
Cross-posted at PrawfsBlawg
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Especially because I tend to be pretty under-informed about to international/comparative drug laws, I am very excited that the student-selected topic for discussion this week in my Marijuana Law, Policy and Reform seminar is the global regime regarding marijuana and its impact on legalization efforts in the US. Here are the readings assembled by the students as background:
I. International Law
International Regulation of Drugs
- Controlled Substances casebook, pp. 801-804 (International Framework);
- pp. 813-820 (Impact of United State Policy on Mexico);
- pp. 836-845 (International Control of Illegal Drugs, "Preventing or Causing Human Rights Violations");
- pp. 916-921 (US using trade policy to enforce drug laws under the 1986 Narcotics Act)
UN and the power to stop legalization of Marijuana
II. Comparative Law
- Dutch cannabis coffeeshop system (Controlled Substances casebook, pp.922-930)
- Sweden's drug policy experience (Controlled Substances casebook pp. 946-955)
- North Korea's tolerance of marijuana
Further Comparative law reading:
3. North Korea's meth addiction: Grau, Cutting off the Building Blocks to Methamphetamine Production, 30 Hous. J. Int’l L. 157 (2007);
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
A. Consider Ohio's current approach to P.C./marijuana (Read State v. Moore, 90 Ohio St.3d 47, 2000-Ohio-10 (2000))
B. What is a "crime" for Fourth Amendment purposes (Read Controlled Substances casebook pp. 193-209 (trafficking, etc))
Note: Give thought to issues surrounding drugged driving in this context
C. Special topic: drug dogs. When is a "sniff up to snuff?" (Read Florida v Harris, 133 S.Ct. 1050 (2013))
II. State (potential?) remedies
A. State Statutes (Consider Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318 (2001))
B. State Constitutional Analogues
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Over the next two months, the students in my Marijuana Law, Policy and Reform seminar are "taking over" the class and classroom by selecting topics of special interest to them and assembling readings to provide the basis for our classroom discussions of these topics. I am excited to be able to post those readings in this space, and the first week is devoted to coverage of tax issues. Here is my students' recommended reading list with links to all the terrific reader-friendly resources they have assembled:Sources addressing Colorado and Washington's tax plans
"Colorado Amd 64 Taskforce Tax Recommendations," an attached PDF [available here Download Colorado Amd 64 Taskforce Tax Recommendations] excerpting 4 pages from the Governor's taskforce's report on regulation more generally. These recommendations shaped Proposition AA.
Information on Proposition AA, the Colorado tax law that voters will approve (or not) in November. Includes the text of the proposition and some analyses. Also, a link to H.B. 1318, which basically created Prop AA and submitted it for voter approval.
The Anti-Proposition AA movement. The proposed taxes are too high, they say.
Denver wants a 3.5% local tax on marijuana, with ability to increase up to 15% later.
"Cato Estimated Tax Revenue from Legalization," attached PDF [available here Download Cato Estimated Tax Revenue from Legalization] projecting revenues from 50% excise tax on marijuana, asserted to be comparable to existing alcohol and cigarette taxes.
- Rand Study on Legalization Effects, chapters 3 and 4 are relevant to our topic. Having trouble excerpting from the full PDF.
- Federal bill, H.R. 501, proposing 50% excise tax on marijuana
SAMSHA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2013: The relevant portion is Section 2: figures 2.1, 2.2, 2.9 and 2.10. Illicit Drug Use. Details marijuana use figures by frequency, amount, and age categories.