Forensic Biology - Marijuana on Trial

In our High School Forensic Biology class, we are currently studying Toxicology. We are learning about the different types of substances that are used for medical purposes. Some of these substances are abused for recreational uses and cause major problems in our society and to one’s self. A hot topic in society today is the legalization of marijuana. 9 states have legalized recreational and medical marijuana and 30 have legalized the use of medical marijuana, per businessinsider.com. We put marijuana on trial.

Crimes are often solved using forensics. It is important for the students to understand the procedures of court and how testimonies can affect a court case. They were encouraged to dress the part. Legalizing marijuana is a controversial topic and comes with biases. A good forensic scientist does not use any bias and lets the evidence speak for itself. In order to create an unbiased atmosphere, students had to argue against their personal views in an attempt to understand the preparation and procedures of a court trial.

Students were broken into two teams. They called 5 different witnesses or experts to the stand. The 5 fields were: Government, Education, Youth, Medical/Health, and Law Enforcement. Each team divided roles equally and teamwork was used to build a plan for their case. They were to research the effects of marijuana in their field of study and come up with questions that their teammate would ask them. They also had to research the other side because the opponent had a chance to cross-examine each witness.

All in all, the trial was used to understand court procedures and effects of testimonies.

Mr. McManus
HS Forensic Biology