US Supreme Court scraps case against Colorado marijuana legalization
Mar 22, 2016 01:32 AM EDT
The majority of the US Supreme Court rejected an effort made by Nebraska and Oklahoma to have Colorado's regulated sales of marijuana for recreational use declared unconstitutional.
The justices made no comment in dismissing the lawsuit the states filed directly at the top court against their neighbor. According to the US News, the neighbors of Colorado argued that the opening of recreational marijuana stores selling regulated amounts to any individuals 21 and older caused an upsurge in cross-border criminality, which complicates their anti-drug efforts and draining state resources. Nebraska and Oklahoma insisted that the regulation of pot stores in Colorado is illegal under federal anti-drug laws.
RT News reported that Nebraska and Oklahoma said they were not attempting to invalidate Colorado's decision to make pot legal, but the structure of its regulation is not sufficient to keep the drug within the Centennial State's borders. The states argued that while Colorado collects tax revenue from marijuana sales, Nebraska and Oklahoma are paying more money to keep the illegal drugs off their streets. Both states firmly believe that the federal government should do something about the issue since pot is still illegal on the national level.
However, the Supreme Court refused to get involved and so delivered a victory for Colorado, which claimed that the rules of Nebraska and Oklahoma want to see struck down are moving the pot sales into a regulated marketplace and off the black market. The law in Colorado does not permit the transfer of marijuana beyond the state lines.
In December 2014, the administration of President Barack Obama sided with Colorado, despite the administration's opposition to making marijuana use legal. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas would have heard the states' lawsuit, reports CBS News.
Meanwhile, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who represented the state in the lawsuit, said her concerns about the risk posed by legalized marijuana has not been toned down but still continues. She believes that the recent lawsuit is without constitutional basis and is not the method to fix US' broken drug policy. If Nebraska and Oklahoma still want to pursue the lawsuit, they must file the case in the lower courts.