These days law schools are frequently attacked for being expensive diploma mills that exist solely to burden students with heaps non-dischargable debt before sending them off into an already oversaturated professional world. As a result of this negative trend many law schools are engaging in different forms of experimental learning and early job training. But while most schools are perhaps simply arranging deck chairs on a sinking ship, others like the University of Denver are going the extra step in making sure that their graduates are prepared to represent clients in the only homegrown American industry still in existence: WEED.
Now back in my day if you wanted to take a class in weed law you had to wait until everyone’s favorite hippy professor was assigned to criminal procedure (i.e. the “where to hide your shit” class). However today’s spoiled millennial students in DU’s Strum College of Law are now being offered an entire multi-disciplinary class called “Representing the Marijuana Client,” and no it’s not just a seminar about how to trademark “SUPER ALASKAN THUNDERFUCK” without giggling in court.
The reasons for taking this class should be rather obvious. Legal recreational weed is a reality in a handful of states right now, and the myriad of laws associated with the cultivation/distribution/regulation etc of this controlled substance are both complex and wide-ranging. However since the subject of this course is weed, the professor behind this class is a tad defensive about how his work is being portrayed.
Specifically Professor Sam Kamin has made sure to stress the academic credentials of this class to the Denver Post. According to Kamin, class topics covered will “include regulatory compliance, criminal defense, contract, banking, tax, real estate, and multidisciplinary practice.” Additionally Kamin assured readers (and probably a few parents funding those taking his class) that “It’s not going to be a joke.”
This is the only source of contention that we here at Bitter Lawyer have with American Hero Sam Kamin and his weed law class. This course IS going to be a joke, just like every other aspect of law school. And just like sports law, gambling law, or any other interesting specialized law class on fun crap, there are going to be terrible students who are going to fail this class once they realize how hard understanding the tax law can be when it’s ON WEED. Additionally alongside the shameful group of people who “failed weed law”, there are the overachievers who are going to take the lessons of this class and become the god-kings of the emerging weed law circuit- which is also hilarious.
So we here salute you, University of Denver, for training your students with the practical skills necessary to either “Represent Marijuana Clients” or (more likely) encourage your students to cut out the middlemen and engage in the new world of respectable weed dealing. Critics might be assailing you now, but when your employment statistics start trouncing others (and your alumni are demonstrably way more chill about owing $100k for eternity), you’ll know that history has absolved you.
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