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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Seeking suggestions for "must-reads" for my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar

As I have mentioned in this space before, I will have the unique honor and distinct pleasure of teaching a (ground-breaking?) law school seminar this Fall semester titled "Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform."   The seminar starts next week, and I am trying to finalize my (necessarily tentative) reading list for the first part of the semester.  As the title of this post indicates, I am eager now to get some concrete suggestions about what others would consider to be "must-reads" for the students in this seminar.

I am very pleased to be able to utilize Controlled Substances: Crime, Regulation, and Policy, a brand-new casebook by Professor Alex Kreit, as the primary text for the seminar.  Students will be exposed via big parts of this book to lots of great general readings on drug regulation and prohibtion debates, as well as specific materials on medical and recreational marijuana laws and policies.  In addition, I have just created this new blog, titled simply "Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform," where I plan to provide new resources and materials for student consideration (e.g., I have already linked/discussed AG Holder's recent ABA speech via this post over there).

But, especially based on terrific feedback I have received via my prior posts about my new seminar, I suspect some folks may have some especially informed and/or innovative thoughts about some (student-friendly) readings that I must make sure to have my seminar students read.  If so, please share those thoughts in the comments.

Cross-posted at SL&P

A few related prior posts (via SL&P):

Posted by Douglas A. Berman on August 15, 2013 at 06:22 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink

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Will you have a lab session in growing? Just kidding.

Seriously, why not include material on Portugal's years-long experiment in legalizing all drugs?

Posted by: Jimbino | Aug 15, 2013 9:13:06 PM

This isn't my area, but a starting point on the legal issues might be to assign at least parts of Bonnie & Whitebread, Forbidden Fruit and the Tree of Knowledge - An Inquiry Into the Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition, 56 Virginia Law Review 971 (1970).

http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/faculty/hein/bonnie/56va_l_rev971_1970_PART1.pdf

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Aug 15, 2013 9:22:19 PM

I'm always hesitant to say that something is a "must read", and this particular book goes further than just marijuana, but I think that all or part of Doug Husak's _Legalize This!: The Case for Decriminalizing Drugs_ (Verso, 2002) does a very good job on the philosophical aspects of the debate. (Husak has written any other things on the topic, and perhaps another one of them will suit you better if this doesn't work, but in addition to being a top philosopher of criminal law, he's one of the most important legal philosophers working on this subject.)

Posted by: Matt | Aug 15, 2013 10:07:19 PM

Benjamin Leff, Tax Planning for Marijuana Dealers, 99 Iowa L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2014). It's on SSRN. A really fun read. Even if you are not a tax geek.

Posted by: AnonAsstProf | Aug 16, 2013 12:15:41 AM

Have you considered starting the course with some political theory or philosophy readings that are not expressly about drug policy, but might set up a foundation for the policy discussion that will presumably occupy most of the class's time? John Stuart Mill jumps immediately to mind, although I'm sure there are others, and of course if you went that route, you'd probably want to include a range that correlates to the range of views that will be presented and discussed later in the class.

Posted by: Steve-o | Aug 16, 2013 7:53:12 AM

I am a medical cannabis attorney in AZ (it is 90% of my practice now) and I try to stay on top of the general drug reform movement as well and the legal issues surrounding that. CO and WA initiatives have truly changed the world and put the Federal Government in a very tight spot. This paper by the Cato institute summarizes the issues very well:

http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA714.pdf

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at all and perhaps I can come do a guest lecture :)

Posted by: Ryan Hurley | Aug 16, 2013 6:23:20 PM

I am a medical cannabis attorney in AZ (it is 90% of my practice now) and I try to stay on top of the general drug reform movement as well and the legal issues surrounding that. CO and WA initiatives have truly changed the world and put the Federal Government in a very tight spot. This paper by the Cato institute summarizes the issues very well:

http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA714.pdf

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at all and perhaps I can come do a guest lecture :)

Posted by: Ryan Hurley | Aug 16, 2013 6:23:23 PM

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