Contested Cannabis Project

Contested Cannabis Roundtable Social Card

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is pleased to announce that it will host an online virtual roundtable discussion on the topic of “Contested Cannabis: A History of Marijuana in Wisconsin and the Wider World.” The Roundtable will be a free online streaming event on December 8, 2021, from 1:00–2:30 PM Central Time (2:00–3:30 Eastern Time). Registration is required at the link below.

The “Contested Cannabis” roundtable is being held in conjunction with the recently launched online digital exhibit also called, “Contested Cannabis: A History of Marijuana in Wisconsin and the Wider World.” The online exhibit, hosted on AIHP’s digital library features historical artifacts, images, and texts about the history of cannabis and marijuana in Wisconsin and in the United States.

The exhibit explores the history of cannabis through five themes—Taxonomy; Hemp Agriculture; Pharmacy & Medicine; Propaganda & Education; and De/Criminalization—as well as a historical timeline. Material in the exhibit is drawn from historical collections at AIHP, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and other archives.

AIHP’s “Contested Cannabis” project was funded, in part, by a generous grant from Wisconsin Humanities.

The “Contested Cannabis” roundtable will be hosted by Dr. Lucas Richert, the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the AIHP Historical Director. Speakers at the event will include:

Dr. Emily Dufton, a drug historian, writer, and researcher based near Washington, DC. She is the author of Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America (Basic Books, 2017), and the author of the forthcoming Addiction, Inc.: How the Corporate Takeover of America’s Treatment Industry Created a Profitable Epidemic. Her writing has appeared in outlets like The Atlantic, the Washington PostTIME and CNN. She is the managing editor emeritus of Points, the joint blog of AIHP and the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.

Dr. Natalie Schmitz, an Assistant Professor in the Pharmacy Practice Division of University of Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy and the faculty leader of University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) Cancer Pharmacology Lab. Prior to joining UW, Dr. Schmitz earned her Master of Public Administration and PharmD at Drake University and then pursued her PhD in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology at University of Minnesota while working as a Medical Cannabis Pharmacist. Dr. Schmitz has expertise in clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and cannabinoid therapies.

Gabriel Carter, a graduate student in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research interests include the Rhetoric of Health & Medicine and Critical Drug Studies. He was primarily responsible for researching, writing, and gathering the images for the forthcoming “Contested Cannabis” online digital exhibit.

In recent years, many states have enacted laws to relax or largely eliminate regulations on the use or possession of cannabis (marijuana). Similar legislation has been debated across the country, including in Wisconsin. AIHP’s grant-funded project, “Contested Cannabis: A History of Marijuana in Wisconsin and the Wider World,” is designed to advance public debate by examining the legal, regulatory, and cultural history of cannabis—particularly the history of cannabis and marijuana in the Badger State.

According to Dr. Richert, “the project aims to historicize and contextualize local discussions about medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and the regulation of drugs and medicines.”  He further explained that “the project will invite the public to reflect on the complicated history that has seen cannabis shift from a medicine to a dangerous drug and back to a medicine.”

AIHP is pleased to partner with Wisconsin Humanities, which partly funded the “Contested Cannabis” project with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Wisconsin Humanities strengthens the roots of community life through educational and cultural programs that inspire civic participation and individual imagination.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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