The Obama administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay away from a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma and Nebraska on Colorado over its marijuana legalization law.
The two states say Colorado’s marijuana legalization law has created a storm of marijuana bootleggers who purchase marijuana in Colorado and then illegally transport it into Oklahoma and Nebraska, reported USA Today. The two states have sued Colorado and asked the Supreme Court to block the state’s legal marijuana system. Colorado asked for the lawsuit to be thrown out, and the Supreme Court asked the federal government to weigh in. The feds basically said move on to more important issues.
“Entertaining the type of dispute at issue here — essentially that one state’s laws make it more likely that third parties will violate federal and state law in another state — would represent a substantial and unwarranted expansion of this court’s original jurisdiction,” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. stated.
Verrelli continued saying “Nebraska and Oklahoma essentially contend that Colorado’s authorization of licensed intrastate marijuana production and distribution increases the likelihood that third parties will commit criminal offenses in Nebraska and Oklahoma by bringing marijuana purchased from licensed entities in Colorado into those states. But they do not allege that Colorado has directed or authorized any individual to transport marijuana into their territories in violation of their laws. Nor would any such allegation be plausible.”
“This is a meritless and, quite frankly, ludicrous lawsuit. We hope the court will agree with the solicitor general that it’s not something it should be spending its time addressing. These states are literally trying to prevent Colorado from controlling marijuana within its own borders,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. “If officials in Nebraska and Oklahoma want to have a prohibition-fueled marijuana free-for-all in their states, that’s their prerogative. But most Coloradans would prefer to see marijuana regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.”