DENVER (AP) — States are free to legalize marijuana, Colorado argued Friday in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit from neighboring states that have asked the nation’s highest court to shut down Colorado’s pot law.
The filing marks the first time Colorado has defended legal marijuana in writing. The federal government did not sue to block the state’s 2012 vote to legalize pot for all adults over 21.
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Colorado said that Nebraska and Oklahoma should sue the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, not other states. Colorado said the states’ “quarrel is not with Colorado but with the federal government’s” approach to letting states experiment with pot law.
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“Nebraska and Oklahoma filed this case in an attempt to reach across their borders and selectively invalidate state laws with which they disagree,” Colorado argued.
Because federal drug law bans marijuana for any purpose, including medical, the federal government can’t throw out recreational pot laws but not medical pot laws in effect in 23 states and Washington, D.C., Colorado argued.
“Congress has endorsed a policy, at least with respect to medical marijuana, supportive of state regulatory and licensure laws,” Colorado wrote. “This suit threatens to upset those administrative and political decisions.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has not said whether it will hear the challenge, and it has no deadline for doing so.
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In addition to the lawsuit from Nebraska and Oklahoma, Colorado faces three more marijuana challenges in a lower federal court.
A set of county sheriffs from Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska have filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Denver.
The third lawsuit comes from a Colorado hotel owner who argued that marijuana is hurting his business. The fourth is from a southern Colorado couple who say that a pot-growing warehouse near their property diminishes the property value.
Colorado Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman opposes marijuana legalization, but she said the problem needs to be fixed by federal drug authorities. “This lawsuit … won’t fix America’s national drug policy— at least not without leadership from Washington, D.C., which remains noticeably absent,” Coffman said in a statement.
(credit: CBS)
Two other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, Oregon and Washington, filed their own briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday arguing that states are … – Click Here To Visit Article Source