WASHINGTON — Twelve sheriffs from three states said in a lawsuit filed Thursday that Colorado’s law legalizing marijuana for recreational use creates a “crisis of conscience” by forcing them to uphold state law when their oath of office also includes a promise to uphold the federal Constitution. At a press conference after the suit was filed, a handful of those sheriffs — from Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas — said they hoped the courts could determine whether the Constitution’s supremacy clause would pre-empt Amendment 64, which Colorado voters approved in 2012. More than 330 licensed marijuana dispensaries now operate in Colorado, more than a year after the law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. “I’m first and foremost a law man and one of my primary responsibilities is to defend the rule of law,” Colorado’s Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said. “Amendment 64 created a constitutional showdown and that showdown was destined for a courtroom from the moment the last ballot was cast in the state.”
Chad Day, sheriff of Colorado’s Yuma County, framed the case as one that seeks clarification from the courts for a question “that needs to be answered.” “This puts us in an untenable position — by supporting and upholding one law, we’re violating the other, and vice versa,” he said. Sheriffs from the neighboring states of Nebraska and Kansas said their local law enforcement budgets were “burdened” by marijuana that has shown up in their counties. In December, Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit arguing that federal law prohibits the production and sale of marijuana, and should take precedence over the will of Colorado voters. “We are forced away from what we’re usually doing to deal with Colorado-sourced marijuana,” said Sheriff Mark Overman of Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska, citing increased expenditures for incarcerating those arrested. “Legalization has completely changed the landscape involving the marijuana that we encounter … the potency is off the charts, it is the best marijuana in the world.”Overman added that he thought increased emergency room visits in Colorado and traffic fatalities in which marijuana may have been a factor weren’t being noticed outside the region. “The media … – Click Here To Visit Article Source