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Higher Education: Universities nationwide launch courses on marijuana law, policy

As more states legalize marijuana for recreational use, law schools across the country have launched classes that grapple with the legal ramifications surrounding the fact that the federal government still deems marijuana an illegal substance.

New courses such as “Marijuana Law and Policy,” “Representing the Marijuana Client,” and “Marijuana Policy in the 21st Century” are now taught at several universities nationwide.

Vanderbilt University law professor Robert Mikos, who is teaching the “Marijuana Law and Policy” class, told the National Law Journal that students find the topic “inherently interesting.”

“They read about it in the media all the time, and so many are curious about it,” he told NLJ. “As more states confront this issue, the interest will only grow.”

According to the course description, students will be given “an in-depth look at the competing approaches to regulating marijuana, the rationales behind these approaches, and where legal authority resides for choosing among them.”

Another course, “Representing the Marijuana Client” at the University of Denver Law School, pledges to “investigate the challenges associated with representing marijuana clients.” Students will hear from “marijuana business people” and the lawyers who represent them.

In addition, David Ball, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, will run a “mini think tank” about the legal ramifications the state of California would face if it chooses to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Oregon State University is also hopping on board, offering a “Marijuana Policy in the 21st Century” class for undergraduates. Professor Seth Crawford said in a news release that students “will be working with policymakers and stakeholders to help answer some of the biggest questions facing the state following the passage of Measure 91” – the initiative approved by Oregon voters last November that legalized the recreational sale and use of marijuana.

The schools offering these courses and numerous professors did not return requests from The College Fix seeking comment.

Voters have opted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. Marijuana use for medical purposes is legal in 23 states.

College Fix reporter Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.

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