December 17, 2015

DOJ Asks Supreme Court To Dismiss Suit Against Colorado Marijuana Law

December 17, 2015
Supreme Court marijuana

Supreme Court marijuanaThe United States Solicitor General filed a brief yesterday urging the United States Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit that Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law. The lawsuit was originally filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma in December 2014. In May 2015, the Supreme Court asked the U.S. Solicitor General to offer up an opinion on the case. That opinion was released yesterday, and it was not favorable to marijuana prohibitionists who had been hoping that this would but the marijuana legalization Pandora back in the box.

The U.S. Solicitor General asked the United States Supreme Court to rule in favor of Colorado. You can read the brief at this link here. Below is a statement from Tom Angell from the Marijuana Majority in regards to yesterdays events:

“This is the right move by the Obama administration. Colorado and a growing number of states have decided to move away from decades of failed prohibition laws, and so far things seem to be working out as planned. Legalization generates tax revenue, creates jobs and takes the market out of the hands of drug cartels and gangs. New federal data released this week shows that as more legalization laws come online, we’re not seeing an increase in teen marijuana use, despite our opponents’ scare tactics. The Justice Department is correct here: This lawsuit is without merit and should be dismissed.”

Below is also a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project:

In a brief filed Wednesday by the Solicitor General, the U.S. government urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma challenging Colorado’s marijuana regulation laws.

Nebraska and Oklahoma filed the lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court in December 2014, arguing that the state’s decision to regulate the cultivation and distribution of marijuana was “placing stress on their criminal justice systems.” In May, the court asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. for his opinion on the lawsuit.

According to the brief filed by Verrilli on Wednesday:

“The motion for leave to file a bill of complaint should be denied because this is not an appropriate case for the exercise of this Court’s original jurisdiction. 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.”

Statement from Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project and a co-director of the 2012 Colorado marijuana initiative:

“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. 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.”

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The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit



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