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The eJournal is sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at the Vermont Law School, home to one of the nation's leading environmental law programs. Since establishing the Environmental Law Center in 1978, Vermont Law School has been training people to be environmental leaders in government, nonprofits, corporations, and private practice - locally, nationally, and internationally. With the largest and deepest graduate environmental law program in the country, the Environmental Law Center offers the most comprehensive environmental law and policy curriculum in the nation for law students, and also confers the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) and Master of Laws in Environmental Law (LLM) degrees, as well as a joint JD/MELP degree. The Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center is also home to the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Environmental Tax Policy Institute, Climate Legacy Initiative, Land Use Institute, Partnership for Environmental Law in China, and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.


Table of Contents

Weed and Water Law: Regulating Legal Marijuana

Ryan Boudin Stoa, Florida International University College of Law

The International Legal Regime for Sustainable Soil

Chilenye Nwapi, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law
Temitope Elizabeth Alori, Landmark University


NATURAL RESOURCES LAW & POLICY eJOURNAL
Sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School

"Weed and Water Law: Regulating Legal Marijuana" 

RYAN BOUDIN STOA, Florida International University College of Law
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As traditional doctrines of water law struggle to cope with the modern realities of water scarcity, marijuana is nearing the end of its prohibition in the United States. Arguably the country’s largest cash crop, marijuana is already legal for recreational use in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC. Between now and election day 2016, an additional 14 states may place marijuana legalization initiatives on their ballots. In addition, 23 states and Washington DC have legalized medical marijuana, with up to seven states pending legislation. The era of marijuana prohibition is rapidly coming to a close.

At the same time, traditional doctrines of water law are struggling to cope with widespread droughts. Administrative agencies lack capacities to monitor and enforce water rights in real-time amid rapidly changing conditions. As marijuana cultivation leaves the black market and enters state regulatory frameworks, legal doctrines and administrative agencies will need to adapt in order to balance existing water rights with the demands of marijuana production. Failure to do so will encourage producers to remain clandestine while perpetuating existing conflicts between legal and illegal water users. At present there is a gap in understanding the relationship between water rights and marijuana legalization, despite their rapid convergence.

This Article is the first to systematically address that gap. Part I begins by describing status quo marijuana production taking place outside the context of state water law doctrines. While marijuana can be grown sustainably, unregulated production often leads to illegal and destructive water practices affecting downstream rights holders. Parts II, III, and IV envision a legal marijuana market governed by the predominant doctrines of US water law: prior appropriation, riparianism, and mixed and tribal systems, respectively. Each system presents a unique set of legal and regulatory challenges, and for states like California, Colorado, and Oregon, these challenges are already evident. Part V concludes with recommendations for states in the process of legalization. While water laws will occasionally clash with a legal marijuana industry, this Article identifies opportunities to smooth the transition.

"The International Legal Regime for Sustainable Soil" Free Download
In Rhuks Ako & Damilola Olawuyi, eds, Food and Agricultural Law: Readings on Sustainable Agriculture and the Law in Nigeria (Ado-Ekiti (Nigeria): Afe Babalola University Press, 2015) 98-114

CHILENYE NWAPI, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia Faculty of Law
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TEMITOPE ELIZABETH ALORI, Landmark University
Email:

This chapter examines the existing international legal regime for the promotion of soil sustainability with a view to identifying gaps and deficiencies in the regime. It begins by setting out broadly the essential functions of soil and describes the current state of the world’s soil. It then explains the concept of sustainability in the context of soil before reviewing the international legal instruments, both soft and hard, governing the world’s soil. The paper makes a case for the creation of a freestanding international soil treaty and makes recommendation on what the contents of such a treaty should be in order to ensure the protection of the sustainability of the world’s soil.

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About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School. This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts dealing with the regulation, management, and distribution of natural resources. The eJournal will discuss a diverse array of natural resource topics such as public and private land use, wildlife and biodiversity, forest protection, mineral rights, parks and wilderness, the public trust doctrine, water and wetlands, and tribal lands and resources.

Editor: Melissa K. Scanlan, Vermont Law School

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Directors

ENVIRONMENTAL & NATURAL RESOURCES LAW EJOURNALS

BERNARD S. BLACK
Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: bblack@northwestern.edu

RONALD J. GILSON
Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: rgilson@leland.stanford.edu

Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for LSN-Sub.

Advisory Board

Natural Resources Law & Policy eJournal

LEE P. BRECKENRIDGE
Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

HOLLY DOREMUS
James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

TIMOTHY P. DUANE
Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

JONATHAN NASH
Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

DAVE OWEN
Professor of Law, University of California - Hastings College of the Law

ROBERT V. PERCIVAL
Robert F. Stanton Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland - Francis King Carey School of Law

MELISSA POWERS
Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School

J. B. RUHL
David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University - Law School

MARK STEPHEN SQUILLACE
Professor of Law and Director of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado Law School

STEPH TAI
Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School

JAY WEXLER
Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law