Drug Policy

Drug Policy - Professor Rob Bovett

  • Course Number: LAW-383
  • Course Type: Highly Specialized
  • Credits: 2
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description: Drug policy is changing rapidly across the United States and internationally. While most illicit drugs remain a controlled substance under federal law, many states have legalized medical or recreational use of cannabis, or both, and some states have reduced the crime level of illicit drug possession, with Oregon recently being the first state in the nation to decriminalize illicit drug possession.

This class covers a wide range of legal issues related to drug policy. In particular, it surveys the legal aspects of federal drug regulation, the state and federal controlled substances acts, and emerging legalized markets for cannabis and psilocybin, using Oregon as its state-level focal point. Topics
surveyed in this class include constitutional law, federalism, conflict of laws, search and seizure, social equity, addiction and mental illness, overdose deaths, burdens on the healthcare system, mass incarceration, public health and safety, prevention, treatment, enforcement, and harm reduction, among
others. Experts in some of these areas will provide guest lectures to frame the issues for students.

The learning objectives for this class are as follows:
1. You should be able to understand and explain the legal and policy framework of drug regulation federally and in Oregon, and its related effects;
2. You should be able to develop practical proposals and advocacy strategies for addressing challenges resulting from substance use disorder (SUD) at a public health and safety scale; and
3. You should be able to gain an appreciable understanding of the manner in which practicing attorneys and their clients are directly impacted by federal and state drug policies.

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Class participation and final paper
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no