Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"Teaching Drugs: Incorporating Drug Policy into Law School Curriculum"

the title of this post is the title of this great new report authored by The Ohio State University's Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) now available via SSRN.  Though I am listed as a lead author on the report, this document is truly the product of the collective great work of so many DEPC folks.  the report also includes the input of dozens of legal academics who participated in a spring 2019 workshop bringing together those who teach or have an interest in teaching in law schools about various aspects of drug policy and law.  Here is an abstract for the report:

Despite the significant impact of laws and policies surrounding controlled substances, few classes in the typical law school curriculum focus on either basic legal doctrines or broader scholarship in this field.  This gap in law school curricula is especially problematic given the shifts in the landscapes of legalized cannabis and hemp, as well as the range of legal and policy responses to the recent opioid crisis. 

To better understand how law schools currently approach these issues and to identify how drug policy and law could be better incorporated into law school curricula, we conducted two surveys of all accredited law schools in the U.S. and hosted a workshop of legal scholars who work in this space.  The surveys and workshop were designed to identify law school courses currently taught and the primary obstacles to teaching this subject matter.  The results show that the vast majority of law schools do not teach courses touching on drugs or the evolving legal structures around cannabis, and this is true even for law schools located in states with legalized cannabis markets.

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