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August 15, 2013

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

As regular readers may recall, 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 lots of 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 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 PrawfBlawg

A few related prior posts:

August 15, 2013 at 06:18 PM | Permalink


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Doug --

A few recommended readings, off the top of my head:
Bonnie and Whitebread's piece on the origins of marijuana prohibition (published in Va L Rev in the 1970s and as a book later) -- it provides a great, cynical look at the reasons behind the embrace of prohibition.
Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on the therapeutic benefits (and harms) of marijuana -- it's often cited in discussion of medical marijuana laws.
Oakland Cannabis Cooperative, early 2000s SCOTUS case rejecting necessity defense to federal marijuana prosecutions.
James M. Cole, Deputy Attorney General, Memoradum to United States Attorneys, 2011 -- this memo (which superceded the Ogden memorandum) is designed to guide the exercise of discretion in medical marijuana cases at the federal level.
Jeffrey Miron has lots of good pieces assessing the fiscal costs of marijuana prohibition and the potential revenue to be gained from a marijuana tax.
Beau Kilmer and others from Rand have a good book on Marijuana Legalization, touching on many other topics (e.g., the likely effect of legalization on usage).
I've published a piece explaining the constitutional and practical significance of state marijuana legalization laws (Vandy 2009, updated by Cato last year), another on the difficulty of reforming federal marijuana policy solely through the exercise of prosecutorial discretion (Stan L and Policy 2011), and another outlining the difficulties states face in taxing marijuana in the shadow of the federal ban (U Chi Legal Forum 2010).
Good luck with the seminar (and the website)!

Posted by: Rob Mikos | Aug 15, 2013 8:07:08 PM

Professor Berman - Thanks for all your attention to marijuana, law, policy and reform. It is so very timely. Also want to thank Rob Mikos for all the references.

Posted by: beth | Aug 15, 2013 9:54:16 PM

Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society and it's free.

Posted by: George | Aug 15, 2013 11:32:53 PM

I consider the students to be far gone zombies of the criminal cult enterprise that is the lawyer profession. However, one may be curious about the explanation of the anomalous situation of prohibition of a mildly addictive substance that kills dozens, mainly by car crashes, while highly addictive substances that kill 500,000 are advertised. This is the best theory to explain it all.


That is a synonym for armed robbery and needs to be criminalized itself.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 16, 2013 4:01:56 AM

See Iverson's Science of Marijuana, 2nd ed (Oxford).
Available here, although this is probably a copyright violation and may not be around permanently

Dr Sanjay Gupta, Why I Changed my Mind on Weed

Hughes, Caitlin E., and Alex Steven. 2010. What Can We Learn From The Portuguese Decriminalization Of Illicit Drugs? British Journal of Criminology, Volume 50, Issue 6 p. 1001.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 16, 2013 10:25:05 AM

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