DENVER (CBS4)– Across the country, college students from Colorado to Ohio are clamoring to sign up for law school classes focusing on marijuana.
At the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, Friday afternoon classes aren’t very popular. Unless it’s Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform.
“I would like to imagine a world when all law students have to take it because it’s that important but right now it’s an elective and it’s very popular,” said Moritz College of Law Professor Doug Berman.
At the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver, it’s not a late afternoon class but an early morning class.
“It’s not an easy class. I don’t do easy classes,” said one student.
Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana, in November 2012. Retail pot sales began Jan. 1, 2014.
The marijuana law classes have been nicknamed Weed 101. Initially there were jokes made about law school professors teaching marijuana law.
“There still was a little bit of snicker quality to this, ‘Oh, you’re just doing this for fun.’ It’s not, it’s an area that needs some serious attention,” said Berman.
With the legalization of marijuana in states around the country, snickering has been replaced with serious study of the issue.
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“I was a lot more closed about it my year. The atmosphere was a lot different than two years ago,” said one DU law student.
DU Professor Sam Kamin admits that his nickname around campus is the Pot Professor.
“Yeah, that’s me,” said Kamin.
Kamin is passionate about helping students understand the new and often confusing laws that come with legalizing marijuana.
“What I hope they learn is that issues arise when you’re representing marijuana clients whether it be individuals or clients,” said Kamin.
Kamin’s class has a large waiting list.
“I’ve gotten calls from attorneys in town and around the country and law students around who want to take it or audit it,” said Kamin.
Both professors and students see the opportunity as a potentially lucrative area of law to pursue.
“I’m interested in tax law in general and I’m interested in marijuana so I figured it goes hand in hand,” said one DU law student.
“The reforms will be most successful if lawyers and new students understand both sides of the issue,” said Berman.
While some students are anxious to sign up for a cannabis course and find the subject matter intriguing and relevant, not everyone is anxious to inform their families they’re taking the course.
“I don’t really know what grandma would say about that,” said one DU student.
Professors disagree saying that grandma would likely be pleased when her law school graduate gets a coveted job in the growing and often profitable marijuana industry.