Feds Tell Supreme Court To Stay Out Of Colorado Marijuana Lawsuit

| by Sean Kelly

Federal officials reportedly asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma over Colorado’s marijuana policy.

According to the lawsuit, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has resulted in people from Nebraska and Oklahoma bringing the drug over the border into their states. 

The states requested the Supreme Court interfere and block Colorado’s legal marijuana system, USA Today reports.

“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. wrote in his response to the lawsuit, according to USA Today. His response was filed on Dec. 16.

Verrilli said the Supreme Court generally avoids interfering in disputes between states unless the states themselves are at odds.

Because citizens are breaking laws in Nebraska and Oklahoma, as opposed to the state of Colorado itself, the Supreme Court should not be involved, according to federal officials.

“This is a meritless and, quite frankly, ludicrous lawsuit," Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, told USA Today. "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.

“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.”

Sources: Time, USA Today / Photo credit: Mark/Flickr, Pixabay