Friday, December 19, 2014

Buzzkill States Sue Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

So much for states' rights:
In the most serious legal challenge to date against Colorado's legalization of marijuana, two neighboring states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the history-making law.

Nebraska and Oklahoma filed the lawsuit directly with the nation's highest court on Thursday. The two states argue in the lawsuit that, "the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system."

"Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff States' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems," the lawsuit alleges.
 Indeed, these blood red states insist that all states must submit to the will of the federal government:
Nebraska and Oklahoma's complaint argues that Colorado does not have authority to pass laws that conflict with the federal prohibition on marijuana. Doing so, the states claim, violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
I'm sure James Madison will no doubt be pleased to hear that Nebraska and Oklahoma finally came around.

But there were also other reasons these states had for bringing forth this suit:
But much of the complaint focuses on harms the two states say have come to them as a result of legal pot sales in Colorado. The lawsuit says the states have suffered increased costs from arrests, the impoundment of vehicles, the seizure of contraband, the transfer of prisoners, and other problems associated with marijuana — which is strictly illegal in the two states — flowing into Nebraska and Oklahoma. The states say the problems amount to "irreparable injury."
The lawsuit does not cite any figures to back up the claims.
Color me shocked.
News stories since Amendment 64's passage have repeatedly noted the complaints of law enforcement officers in neighboring states that marijuana legalization in Colorado is straining their budgets. For instance, the police chief in Sydney, Neb., told a television station this year that half of his department's traffic stops now result in a marijuana arrest. He said the department burned through its yearly overtime budget in six months, mostly paying officers overtime to go to court to testify in marijuana prosecutions.
You know would probably help save money and resources, Chief? Not having to go after these people in the first place. It seems the problem isn't that pot is legal in Colorado, but rather, it's still illegal in Nebraska. 

This lawsuit seems worth keeping a close watch on.

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