Teaching Drugs: Incorporating Drug Policy into Law School Curriculum, 2020-21 Curriculum Survey Update

Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 598

Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, February 2021

14 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021

See all articles by Jana Hrdinova

Jana Hrdinova

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Dexter Ridgway

Ohio State University (OSU)

John Berk

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Samuel DeWitt

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Claire Kinnear

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Date Written: February 18, 2021

Abstract

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 continue our efforts 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 a third survey of all accredited law schools in the U.S. The 2020-21 survey followed two previous annual surveys and a workshop of legal scholars who work in this space. The surveys and 2019 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

Suggested Citation

Hrdinova, Jana and Ridgway, Dexter and Berk, John and DeWitt, Samuel and Kinnear, Claire, Teaching Drugs: Incorporating Drug Policy into Law School Curriculum, 2020-21 Curriculum Survey Update (February 18, 2021). Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 598, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, February 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3788079 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3788079

Jana Hrdinova (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Dexter Ridgway

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

John Berk

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Samuel DeWitt

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Claire Kinnear

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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