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Monday September 19th, 2016

Marijuana Legalization and Federalism

Jonathan H. Adler, J.D.
Johan Verheij Memorial Professor
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Brannon P. Denning, J.D.
Associate Dean and Professor
Cumberland School of Law
Samford University

Monday September 19, 2016, 4:30 p.m.
Moot Courtroom
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

The possession and use of marijuana have been illegal at the federal level since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Many states initially followed suit with similar legislation. But over the past twenty years there has been an increasing number of challenges to marijuana prohibition.

Since 1996, when California legalized medical use of marijuana through Proposition 215, 23 other states have done the same despite federal law. Four of those states have legalized its recreational use as well. Opinion polls suggest a growing majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

The Constitution Day Committee welcomes Brannon Denning and Jonathan Adler to discuss significant questions regarding marijuana legalization and pertinent federalism issues. In discussing the current controversy over marijuana legalization, the forum will address a long-standing debate in American history: states’ vs. federal rights.

About Our Guests

Jonathan H. Adler, J.D. is the author or editor of seven books, including Business and the Roberts Court (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Rebuilding the Ark: New Perspectives on Endangered Species Act Reform (AEI Press, 2011). His numerous articles have appeared in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Supreme Court Economic Review, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He has testified before Congress a dozen times, and his work has been cited by The U.S. Supreme Court. A 2016 study identified Professor Adler as the most-cited legal academic in administrative and environmental law under age 50.

Brannon P. Denning, J.D. has written on the commerce clause and the dormant commerce clause, judicial and executive branch appointments, the constitutional amendment process, foreign affairs and the U.S. Constitution, and on the Second Amendment. He collaborated with Boris I. Bittker, Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale, on The Regulation of Interstate Commerce and Foreign Commerce (Aspen Law and Business 1999) and is sole author of the second edition. He also edited Gun Control and Gun Rights: A Reader and Guide (NYU Press, 2002), which addresses aspects of firearms regulation and is the only book of its kind designed for undergraduate use.