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FLAS fellow experience as a Law student

March 30, 2016

Beth St. ClairMy research as a FLAS Fellow and law student has allowed me to continue to study the Canadian Constitution in unique ways. Last quarter I took a Cannabis Law Seminar, which was a fascinating foray into a burgeoning field of law. Washington State is one of the first states in the nation to legalize recreational and medical marijuana and the University of Washington School of Law is quickly becoming a leading subject matter institution. What’s more, Canada is set to be the second county in the world to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana. Using what I learned in the Seminar, I wrote a comprehensive overview on several key issues that Canada is facing, as it will go through the legalization process. Interestingly, much precedent that led up to its groundbreaking decision to legalize was pushback against federal cannabis laws and Health Canada’s position on access to medical marijuana, which many plaintiffs successfully based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This quarter I am studying Federal Tax Policy and writing a comparative piece on how estates are taxed in the US and Canada. A surprise to most Americans, Canada does not have a traditional estate tax like we do in the US, but instead taxes estates like a sale. In my research, I cover the history of both systems and then introduce analytical experiment that considers how Canada’s approach might work in the United States were it to be adopted.

I am so grateful for the chance to continue to study Canada and am pleased that my international competence is more nuanced and focused. The FLAS is truly an invaluable experience that is gearing me towards a unique and exciting career as an attorney with global savoir.

The Canadian Studies Center is a recipient of a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program grant. The grant provides allocations of academic year and summer fellowships to assist meritorious graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and Canadian Studies. The Canadian Studies Center is extremely proud in having awarded several Fellowships in least-commonly taught Canadian Aboriginal languages including Inuktitut, Dane-zaa, Musqueam Salish, and Anishinaabemowin.