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Published on March 15th, 2015 | by News Feed

University Students Rush to Enroll in Weed 101

At Ohio State University, marijuana isn’t just a frequent topic at weekend parties. It’s also front and center on campus in the university’s first ever class about marijuana, termed Weed 101 by Professor Douglas Berman. The class offers students an opportunity to learn more about legalization, current state and federal laws, and how the changing laws impact our world.

Berman said that while the class is often viewed as a joke, it’s actually a very serious course of study. “This is a serious area that is a matter of significant public policy,” he said. “If we leave it to the snickers and the ha-ha’s and the people who think it’s a joke, you ensure that it’s not going to be regulated and reformed in a sensible way.”

Because the laws are changing so rapidly, Berman relies on news to lead the course and he transmits the recent headlines to students via a blog. One of the main topics of interest is the conflict between state and federal laws. “State level reforms have an extra layer of complication to them,” Berman explained. “That’s a very valuable lesson for all lawyers to understand.”

Classes meet on Fridays, an intentional move to detract students who would only take the course as a joke. There are currently 16 students enrolled and they all seem genuinely interested in marijuana law and its impact on society. Ashley Braxton, a 24-year-old student said she chose the course because she hopes to understand marijuana law better so she can advocate for minorities who rely on black market weed sales to pay their bills. She hopes legalization can help minority families legitimize their businesses.

Law student Steven Swick chose the class because he wants to gain a better understanding of legalization and how it will impact businesses. As he pursues a degree in business law, he knows that marijuana laws could eventually affect his clients and he wants to be well prepared to help them.

Do you think other universities should offer courses about marijuana law? Will this help educate the next generation to make better decisions in marijuana reform?

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