Photo of legal scales and gavel

Constitution Day: Marijuana Legalization and Federalism

The School of Law will host the annual Constitution Day program, with this year’s theme of “Marijuana Legalization and Federalism,” Monday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom.

Law professors Brannon Denning and Jonathan Adler will 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.

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 20 years, there have 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 event is free and open to the public.

A reception will follow at the School of Law.

This program was planned by the CWRU Constitution Day 2016 Student Committee: Koko Etokebe, Austin Fainsod, Thomas Franco, Kelsey Holmberg, James Jaworski, Reeny John, Dilara Kucuk, Michael Locke, Allanah Manzanares, Jaimee Miller, Elijah Newcomb (co-chair), Joseph Palmeri, Steven Reynolds (co-chair), Jacob Sandstrom, Noah Spreng, Lilly Tesfai, Daniel Williams (secretary) and Charles Zoller. Faculty advisers are Sarah de Swart, William Doll, Jonathan Entin, Andrew Lucker and Laura Tartakoff.

The Office of the President, Office of Government and Community Relations, Department of Political Science, Center for Policy Studies and School of Law are sponsoring the event.

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

Jonathan H. Adler 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 ReviewThe Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He has testified before Congress a dozen times, and the U.S. Supreme Court has cited his work. A 2016 study identified Adler as the most-cited legal academic in administrative and environmental law under age 50.

Brannon P. Denning
Associate Dean and Professor
Cumberland School of Law

Brannon P. Denning, 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, the Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University, 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.