January 17, 2012

Wayne Law Review symposium to explore marijuana reform

Former attorney general Mike Cox to give keynote address

DETROIT (Jan. 5, 2012) - The Wayne Law Review is pleased to host its upcoming symposium, "National and State Marijuana Reform: The Social, Economic, Health and Legal Implications," 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, January 27, 2012, in Wayne State University Law School's Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium.

This symposium addresses some of the major social, economic, health and legal issues presented by current marijuana laws and proposed marijuana policies. The discussions will explore the dichotomy between federal and state marijuana legalization, the policy behind the respective laws, as well as address the unpredictability of their enforcement. Also considered will be the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use, local regulation and enforcement, physician compliance and patient rights.

Former attorney general Mike Cox will give the keynote address. During his term as attorney general, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was passed by a voter referendum, introducing new state legislation into the legal environment in Michigan. In the course of the act's implementation, Cox undertook the role of compelling law enforcement, prosecutors and the Department of Community Health to follow the law, as well as promulgating administrative rules. He is currently a member of the health care and litigation practice groups at Dykema Gossett PLLC and has worked as a prosecutor in both Wayne and Oakland counties.

Following the keynote address, there will be two panel discussions featuring a number of renowned legal experts, and a lunchtime talk delivered by Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. (The full symposium schedule is available at the end of this release.)

"We are very excited to bring together prominent experts from around the country, as well as local attorneys practicing in Metro Detroit, to speak on such a timely topic," said Jessica Bajkowski, Wayne Law Review symposium editor.

The Wayne Law Review's annual symposium brings leading scholars from across the country to participate in a live panel-based discussion addressing a timely and relevant legal issue. The symposium is a vehicle to educate the public, inform local and national decision makers, and facilitate a forum for open and thoughtful discussion. A published symposium edition of the Law Review accompanies the live event.

The symposium, which is presented with the generous assistance of the Cohn family and the Wayne State University Dean of Students Office, is free and open to the public. Parking is available for $5 in parking structure #1 across from the Law School on West Palmer Street. To register for this event, visit http://events.wayne.edu/2012/01/27/wayne-law-review-symposium-37390/ or call 313-577-8032.

Symposium schedule

8 a.m. - Registration and continental breakfast

8:40 a.m. - Welcome remarks

  • Dean Robert M. Ackerman, Wayne State University Law School

9 a.m. - Keynote address

  • Mike Cox, Dykema Gossett PLLC

10:00 a.m. - Morning break

10:15 a.m. - Panel I: Legalization of marijuana and the federal and state dichotomy

  • Moderator: Distinguished Professor Robert Sedler, Wayne State University Law School
  • Saby Ghoshray, founder of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Kevin Sabet, fellow at University of Pennsylvania and former advisor to National Office of Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske
  • Dan Riffle, legislative analyst, Marijuana Policy Project
  • Jesse C. Vivian, professor of pharmacy, Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

12:30 p.m. - Lunch lecture: The current state of marijuana policy and what to expect in 2012

  • Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies, Marijuana Policy Project

2 p.m. - Panel II: Legalization and decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal use

  • Moderator: Professor Noah Hall, Wayne State University Law School
  • Matthew Abel, Cannabis Counsel
  • William Vertes, attorney, Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti and Sherbrook
  • Kevin Sabet
  • Neil Rockind, Rockind PC

4:00 p.m. - Closing remarks, adjournment and reception

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.

For more information about Wayne State University Law School, visit law.wayne.edu.


Ann Marie
Phone: (313) 577-4834
Email: amaliotta@wayne.edu