Thursday, December 18, 2014

Nebraska, Oklahoma Sue Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced that his state will be filing a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court asking that Colorado's recreational marijuana possession/use law be declared unconstitutional in that it violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt has announced that his state will join in the lawsuit.  The U.S. Constitution provides that state/local laws cannot conflict with federal laws; federal law must reign supreme in instances where state/local laws contradict or conflict.  Colorado voters approved a state constitutional amendment in 2012 that permits individuals over 21 to possess a small amount of marijuana for personal use in private.  However, marijuana in any quantity remains illegal under federal law despite the declared reluctance of the current Justice Department to enforce federal standards in Colorado and Washington, which is the other state that has legalized limited marijuana possession/use.

The lawsuit is brought in the U.S. Supreme Court because, under the Constitution, that court has original jurisdiction in matters between two or more states.  Additional information may be found at

Despite its legalization in Colorado, many entities do not permit marijuana possession/use, citing its illegality under federal law.

The contradictions illustrated by this case once again demonstrate why experienced legal counsel is vital when confronted by the implications of the legal system.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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