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Interest in marijuana law continues to grow, due in large part to the complicated and rapidly evolving landscape of marijuana laws in the United States. Nearly every day, newspapers report on new or proposed legislation and the legal controversies that have arisen with regard to this evolving landscape. There are now several marijuana-law blogs on the Internet, Congress is considering sweeping legislation that would essentially grant significant deference to the individual states, and public opinion continues to move in favor of increased legalization. For the last two years, Newsweek magazine has published special editions devoted exclusively to marijuana law and the movement toward legalization, with cover captions “WEED NATION,” and featuring a large red, white, and blue cannabis leaf. In light of this growing interest in marijuana law, we propose that the topic is ripe for the legal writing classroom. Not only is marijuana law a rapidly evolving area of law, and therefore a fertile source of new legal issues, it also is an area of significant interest for many students, and it raises many fascinating legal issues—civil, criminal, and constitutional. This article therefore proposes that legal writing professors consider incorporating marijuana law issues into their first-year courses, and it offers some ideas for how they might create marijuana-related legal writing problems.


This article originally appeared in Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing, published by Thomson Reuters. For more information please visit