Teaching Drugs: Incorporating Drug Policy into Law School Curriculum
Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, 2020
29 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 10, 2020
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.
Keywords: drugs, cannabis, controlled substances, curriculum, law schools, criminal justice, teaching, courses
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