Law school exhibit offers a legal history of marijuana

The UO Law Library is inviting visitors to get high on knowledge through an exhibition on the controversial legal history of marijuana.

“Reefer Madness: The Legal History of the Loco Weed” is on display at the library through December. The library is on the second floor of the William H. Knight Law Center, and the exhibit is free and open to the public.

The exhibit covers the legal efforts to manage cultivation and use of marijuana for the past several hundred years. America’s legal relationship with the plant dates back to 1619, when the Virginia Assembly enacted the first cannabis-related law. It required all farmers to grow the plant.

Nearly 400 years later, more than half of all drug-related arrests involve marijuana. Pot has been covered by almost every kind of law, including international conventions, federal statutes and regulations, state statutes and even county and municipal codes.

With the laws on marijuana changing as some states experiment with legalization, the “Reefer Madness” exhibit offers some history on how marijuana became such a heavily controlled substance.

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