In December of 2014, Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against Colorado in an attempt to prevent any future marijuana commerce in Colorado. In the lawsuit, Nebraska and Oklahoma claimed that legalized marijuana sales in Colorado have resulted in an increased amount of marijuana enforcement in Nebraska and Oklahoma. To say the lawsuit is ridiculous is a huge understatement. As Russ Belville has been saying, ‘Colorado doesn’t have a marijuana legalization problem, Nebraska and Oklahoma have a marijuana prohibition problem.’
Yesterday the Supreme Court asked the United States Justice Department to weigh in on the lawsuit. A headline out of Nebraska stated ‘Nebraska, Oklahoma lawsuit of Colorado pot sales clears U.S. Supreme Court hurdle,’ which is kind of misleading. The Court is asking the Justice Department to weigh in on the case, but still has not even decided to hear the case. Four Justices would have to agree to hear the case, and it’s unclear if they will even do it. If the Justice Department’s response is unfavorable towards the merits of the lawsuit, that could end it right then and there. Even if the Court decides to hear the case, they won’t hear the case anytime soon.
Colorado’s Attorney General made the following statement, per Constitution Center:
“[Nebraska and Oklahoma] suggest that the federal government will backfill the resulting regulatory vacuum, even though the Presidential Administration has indicated it lacks the resources and the inclination to fully enforce the federal marijuana ban; Congress has partially endorsed the Administration’s non-enforcement policy; and the States have, for the last four decades, carried out the vast majority of marijuana enforcement across the country,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman in March.
More and more states are going to legalize marijuana. That is a fact that Nebraska and Oklahoma need to realize. About the only person outside of Nebraska and Oklahoma that is rooting for this lawsuit to move forward is Kevin Sabet. And considering how poor Kevin Sabet’s track record is on marijuana policy (has he ever been right?), no one should be happy that they are on the same side of the issue as him. This will be a big test for the Justice Department, who has claimed a lot lately that they are going to take a hands off approach in states that have a well regulated marijuana industry, which Colorado obviously has.