Bringing the Green to Green: Would the Legalization of Marijuana in California Prevent the Environmental Destruction Caused by Illegal Farms?

Bringing the Green to Green: Would the Legalization of Marijuana in California Prevent the Environmental Destruction Caused by Illegal Farms?

By Dana Kelly*

*Dana Kelly is a 2012 J.D. candidate at U.C. Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California.

Excerpt from Bringing the Green to Green: Would the Legalization of Marijuana in California Prevent the Environmental Destruction Caused by Illegal Farms? 18 Hastings W.-N.W. J. Env. L. & Pol'y 95 (Winter, 2012)

I. Introduction
 
Support for the complete legalization of marijuana is higher than it has ever been. 2 Nationally, fifteen states and Washington D.C. currently allow marijuana for medical purposes. 3 In California, marijuana has been decriminalized for medical purposes since 1996. 4 In the 2010 mid-term elections, 46.5 percent of Californians voted to legalize marijuana under Proposition 19. 5 Many Californian counties have made the enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest priority of local police. 6 Since 2010, people who possess less than one ounce of marijuana cannot be arrested but instead are subject to a $ 100 fine. 7

Much of the dialogue for legalization has focused on the criminal and moral aspects of the marijuana prohibition. This note will focus on the environmental problems caused by illegal marijuana farms. It will examine whether legalization would effectively regulate the cultivation of marijuana to prevent destruction to habitat. First, it will explore whether farmers could legally use water to grow marijuana under California water law. It will then examine whether legalization would be struck down as unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause. Finally, this note will determine whether the Federal government can require California to continue enforcing marijuana prohibition laws under the Tenth Amendment.

II. Environmental Damage
 
In early 2008, a family in Covelo, Mendocino, called the Department of Fish and Game to complain that their tap water had an odd taste. 8 A warden drove out to their home to investigate. 9 While he was hiking along the banks ...

Lexis.com subscribers can access the full text of Bringing the Green to Green: Would the Legalization of Marijuana in California Prevent the Environmental Destruction Caused by Illegal Farms?

Non-subscribers can order the full text of Bringing the Green to Green: Would the Legalization of Marijuana in California Prevent the Environmental Destruction Caused by Illegal Farms? for US $12.50 (+ tax)

....

Lexis.com subscribers can explore/search Real Estate Law resources on Lexis.com or access any of these Mathew Bender Real Estate Law publications:

Non-subscribers can purchase Property Law treatises/resources and Mathew Bender publications from the LexisNexis Bookstore

Non-subscribers can purchase Real Estate Law treatises/resources and Mathew Bender publications from the LexisNexis Bookstore

For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site.