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About the Book

Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority

Front Cover - Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority


Robert A. Mikos
Vanderbilt University Law School

2017. 792 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-5942-0.

With Author Letter and Syllabi. 

About the Book

Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority is a first-of-its-kind law school casebook in a rapidly-emerging and exciting new field. The accessible, comprehensive, and engaging material guides students through the competing approaches to regulating marijuana, the purposes and effects of those approaches, and the legal authorities for choosing among them. The helpful organization intersperses these issues of substantive law, policy, and authority throughout the discussion of users, suppliers, and third parties. Substantive law materials cover either prohibitions or regulations targeting users, suppliers, or third parties. Policy materials cover the goals of marijuana law and policy as well as the research on the impact of different marijuana policies. Authority materials address the different levels of government—federal, state, and local. Notes, questions, and numerous problems in each chapter provide additional thought-provoking material and help to reinforce student learning. Current, news-headlining cases keep the discussion interesting and lively.


Hallmark features of Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority:

  • Internationally renowned author Robert Mikos is the premier authority on marijuana law. He draws upon nearly a decade of professional experience teaching, lecturing, consulting, and writing about marijuana law and policy.
  • The author introduces difficult issues with clear explanation and command of the material.
  • Covers three distinct but inter-woven topics: the substantive law governing marijuana; the policy rationales behind and outcomes produced by different approaches to regulating the drug; and the legal authority to regulate the drug.
  • Guides students through the multi-faceted legal and policy issues now confronting lawyers, lawmakers, judges, and policy analysts working in this emerging field.
  • Written in a style that is familiar to law students, but also accessible to a much broader audience, including graduate and upper level undergraduate students in courses in policy studies, political science, and criminology.
  • Discusses cutting-edge issues that are intellectually engaging for students and professors alike—e.g., how are conflicts between state/federal law resolved? What are the roles of courts and executive officers in terms of policy?
  • Organization (separate treatment of law, authority, and policy issues for marijuana users and suppliers) is inventive and logical, given the rapidly-changing law in this area and the differing legal issues and regulatory approaches facing users, traffickers, and third parties; and successfully achieves the goal of gradually layering complexity throughout the course.
  • Dives deeply into classic legal issues: contract enforceability and powers of court, Congress, and the state.
  • Abundant materials (cases, excerpts, statutory material, graphs, problems, notes, and questions) are seamlessly woven into the book, giving it a turn-key quality.
o Helpful and numerous problems.
o Interesting, current cases.
o Photos, illustrations, and informative graphs provide visual appeal.
o Notes and Questions following cases offer stimulating fodder for discussion.

  • Companion website includes glossary, links to articles, state-specific materials, additional problems, current topics, and real-time updates with video clips and new cases.
  • Teacher’s Manual with sample syllabi (including alternative organization) helps instructors prepare for their courses in this relatively complicated and quickly evolving field. 

Preface / Sample Chapters