Supreme Court Marijuana
March 22, 2016 by staff
Supreme Court Marijuana,
The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a lawsuit filed by two of Colorado’s neighboring states over its legalization of marijuana.
Nebraska and Oklahoma said Colorado’s decriminalization has “increased the flow of marijuana over their borders,” forcing them to expend greater “law enforcement, judicial system, and penal system resources,” thereby harming the welfare of their residents.
They claimed to suffer “a direct and significant detrimental impact – namely the diversion of limited manpower and resources to arrest and process suspected and convicted felons involved in the increased illegal marijuana trafficking or transportation.”
Colorado’s approach, they argued, is in direct conflict with federal law, which makes it illegal to possess even small amounts of marijuana.
The court turned the case away in an unsigned opinion. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. Writing for them both, Thomas said court should have taken the case because “the plaintiff states have made a reasonable case.”
There were no lower court decisions, because disputes between the states come directly to the Supreme Court.
Nebraska and Oklahoma did not challenge Colorado’s legalization itself. Instead, they said the way it regulates the manufacture, possession, and distribution of marijuana was causing them harm.
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