University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Fall 2020

Course Description
The laws governing controlled substances are filled with policy disputes, social and medical issues, complex legal issues, and rapid change on several fronts. In addition, there have been questions about the constitutionality of Florida’s statutes, which differ from federal law and other states in important ways. Drug convictions are a major factor in the high rate of incarceration in the United States. Both liberal and conservative voices are calling for lower mandatory minimum sentences, and some states are considering changes. There are particular contradictions between state and federal laws governing marijuana. This course will study significant legal and policy issues in depth. Materials: casebook and supplement

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
08-17-2020 - 11-17-2020   T  4:10 PM-5:50 PM DL

Course Frequency

Course Information

Credits: 2
Pass/Fail Option: No
Prerequisite: Substantive Criminal Law is recommended but not required.
Corequisite: Substantive Criminal Law is recommended but not required.
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Alternative methods of evaluation. Students mus choose option by second week of class. Writing credit: Research paper + short exam/quiz(1 question). Exam option: Comprehensive exam.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes:
Distance Learning
Course Delivery:
Online (all synchronous)
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s): None
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
  • Textbook Name: Illegal Drug & Marijuana Law
    Textbook Type: Hardcover
    Requirement: Required
    Author: Alex Kreit
    Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
    Edition: 2019
    ISBN: 9781611637892
  • Textbook Name: Marijuana Law in a Nutshell
    Textbook Type: Paperback
    Requirement: Optional
    Author: Mark Osbeck & Howard Bromberg
    Publisher: West Academic
    Edition: 2017
    ISBN: 9781634599351
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: Welcome to Controlled Substances Law and Policy. This first assignment includes only one case. It addresses initial questions about whether harmfulness is necessary in order to criminalize conduct; how arguments about harm occur today; and criminalization as an approach to drug use, abuse and addiction. READINGS FOR FIRST WEEK OF CLASS, FROM CASEBOOK – ATTACHED HERE AND POSTED ON BLACKBOARD: pages xxxv-xxxvi, pages 3-7, 14-21 (introduction; what is a drug; perspectives on use, abuse and addiction); p.31 (from first full paragraph) - top of p.55 (the harm principle, Ah Lin case). ALSO SEE “special instructions” for first meeting- above.

    CASEBOOK: Alex Kreit, Illegal Drug and Marijuana Law (2019).
    Recommended additional reading: Mark K. Osbeck & Howerd Bromberg, Marijuana Law in a Nutshell (2017). Supplementary materials to be posted on Blackboard.

    TWEN/Blackboard/Course Webpage Link:

    Additional Information:
    This course will use a mix of readings on law, policy, and the rapidly-changing landscape of marijuana law, as well as some information on the relationship between drug law and mass incarceration. Our coverage will be national in scope. In the supplement, however, we will give special attention to controversial issues in Florida law -- Florida's unique approach to the law of possession, which has so far survived constitutional challenges but may fall at some future time; recent legislation limiting the ability of physicians to prescribe opioids and other controlled substances and creating new requirements and liabilities for their prescribing practices; and other Florida issues.

    First Class Readings - 2020.pdf
    Controlled Substances Course Requirements 2020 v.1.2 [8-14-20].pdf
    Syllabus Controlled Substances Fall 2020 v.1.2.pdf



Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-5869
Office: G386