The law and cannabis have had a very complicated relationship. Once upon a time, cannabis was legal – the law ignored it, refusing to give it the time of day. Once pot prohibition set in, the law not only grew interested, but it turned into a downright stalker, always up in weed’s business. Now, with marijuana reform, the law has been forced to back off (at least in certain areas). This has come no fuller a circle than in Canada. While America has slowly legalized recreational weed on a state by state basis since 2014, Canada is one-upping us by passing recreational legalization on a federal level and adapting its entire legal system. People once went to school to learn how to prosecute marijuana crimes; now they can take cannabis law classes to learn how to defend weed.
Cannabis Law at the University of Ottawa
Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, the University of Ottawa will begin offering students a chance to take two courses in Cannabis Law. These courses will be offered in both French and English.
It’s an offering they do (and should) take pride in. According to Adam Dodek, the Dean of Law,
“We are proud to be the first Canadian law school to offer courses in this cutting-edge area of law and public policy. The legalization and regulation of cannabis will impact many areas of the law, and we are proud that our students will be able to study these issues in real-time, as the regulation of cannabis unfolds. When we looked at this, we saw one of the most important public policy issues unfolding in our time.”
The two courses are slotted to take place in January and September. The January course will be taught by lawyers Joel M. Dubois and Megan D. Wallace from Perley-Robertson, Hill, and McDougall LLP. The class is designed to look at all the areas of law impacted by cannabis progression and the regulations that frame it. The subjects that will be discussed include: implications of legalization, impact on employment and labor law, and impact on property, immigration, and business laws. It’s expected that this course will address issues like driving under the influence of weed, the ramifications of being high on the job (and how managers can deal with this), and where smoking is and is not allowed.
For the record, Dubois stated,
“It’s (marijuana) going to be affecting the everyday lives of Canadians. It’s important for law students to understand those impacts, because clients will have questions. They already do have questions.”
Diane Labelle, the General Counsel to Health Canada Legal Services, will teach a similar class in September, but it will be in French.
Many of the university’s law students appear to be embracing the class, suggesting that many of their learnings are based on old and often out dated doctrines. As a result, administrators expect a high level of interest.
The University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa is located in Ottawa (you were probably able to crack that code), the capital of Canada. It is the largest English-French bilingual university in the entire world.
The school is large, with around 35,000 undergraduates and another 6,000 post-graduates. It also boasts over 200,000 alumni. They offer over 450 programs in ten faculties and their graduates have a 97 percent employment rate. They have the largest law school in Canada to boot.
If you’re wondering if anyone famous is an alum of the University of Ottawa, just take Famous Graduates for 100 Dollars. The answer: Alex Trebek.
Other Places Where You Can Take Marijuana Classes
Our Northern neighbors aren’t the only ones offering cannabis for credit. You can also take marijuana-focused classes in several US colleges.
Some of these include:
The place I pretend is my alma mater offers a seminar called “Tax Law for Marijuana Dealers.” The name sort of makes it sound a little sketchy, but it’s directed at legal sellers.
The University of Denver
You know Denver has to represent. DU (as we locals call it) offers a few classes: Business of Marijuana, Representing the Marijuana Client and Cannabis Journalism.
Hofstra offers a course called “Business and Law of Marijuana.” It doesn’t just teach business but also the ethics of legalization. It’s been lauded for its comprehensiveness.
Founded by the family I pretend I belong to, Vanderbilt offers a class called “Marijuana Law and Policy.” It’s designed to teach students how to implement reform.
Ohio State University
The course “Marijuana Law, Policy, and Reform”” focuses on the law as well as the history and societal issues of cannabis.
Oregon State University
“Marijuana Policy in the 21st Century” is offered through the sociology department. It’s a small class (only fifty students) that fills up fast. It also provides students a chance to work with lawmakers.
University of Vermont
For those going into pharmaceuticals, this school offers “Cannabis Past, Present, and Future.” It focuses on its medicinal uses. Med students who go here can get certified in Medical Marijuana and Cannabis.
This isn’t so much a college that offers a few cannabis classes as it is a cannabis college – yep, it’s a school dedicated to marijuana. For those who want a career in cannabis, it’s a worthy endeavor – it offers the chance to study practically everything about it.