Colorado Speaks Out On Pot Lawsuits, Says States Are Free To Legalize


It has been a few weeks since Nebraska and Oklahoma filed lawsuits against Colorado for legalizing marijuana. On Friday, Colorado finally responded and responded loudly, saying that states are free to legalize cannabis. The statement came as a response to the lawsuit that was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, which asks that the nation’s highest court strike down Colorado’s pot law.

According to an article in Yahoo, the response was the first time Colorado defended legal marijuana in writing. The state explained that Nebraska and Oklahoma should sue the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, not other states, saying that the “quarrel is not with Colorado but with the federal government’s” approach to letting states enact their own marijuana laws.

The state also argued that Nebraska and Oklahoma trying to shut them down would in turn be a request to shut down the other legal states across the country, along with Washington D.C. The argument explained that “Nebraska and Oklahoma filed this case in an attempt to reach across their borders and selectively invalidate state laws with which they disagree. Congress has endorsed a policy, at least with respect to medical marijuana, supportive of state regulatory and licensure laws. This suit threatens to upset those administrative and political decisions.”

Oregon and Washington also filed arguments with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that states are free to legalize cannabis. No word from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether they plan to hear the case.

According to the article, a spokesman for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt released a statement saying that Oklahoma isn’t trying to shut down Colorado’s pot law, but the state is “challenging regulations that could be causing the drug to spill into other states.”

Beside the Supreme Court argument, Colorado is facing three other marijuana-related cases in a lower federal court. County sheriffs from Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Denver. Another lawsuit comes from a Colorado hotel owner who claims marijuana is taking away business and the other is from a southern Colorado couple who claim that their property’s value has gone down because of a nearby pot-growing warehouse.


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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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