Supreme Court declines to hear against Colorado over Marijuana Law

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on March 23, 2016.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a lawsuit filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma against their neighbor Colorado over a law that allows the recreational use of marijuana.

The complainant neighboring states had argued that marijuana grown and processed in Colorado was being smuggled across their borders, creating law and order situations and other health problems in their countries. The two states also claimed their criminal justice systems were being put under stress because of Colorado's marijuana law. But the states could not back up their allegations with data.

However, the court turned the case away in an unsigned opinion. Two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, issued a dissent, writing that Nebraska and Oklahoma deserved to have their case heard because they “have alleged significant harms to their sovereign interests caused by another State.”

The decision is a victory for Colorado, the federal government and marijuana advocates, all of whom had urged the court to not take up the case.

“At the end of the day, if officials in Nebraska and Oklahoma are upset about how much time and resources their police are spending on marijuana cases ... they should join Colorado in replacing prohibition with legalization,” Tom Angell, a spokesperson for Marijuana Majority, an organization that supports the legalization of marijuana in the states, said in a statement.

Colorado’s marijuana law was approved as a ballot initiative by the voters in 2012.

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