Oklahoma and Nebraska are calling for the United States Supreme Court to overrule Colorado’s voter approved Amendment 64, the initiative that legalized recreational marijuana in the state. The lawsuit was filed Thursday stating that the legalization amendment infringes the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause, which establishes federal law as the winner should there ever be a conflict with state law.
Jon Bruning, Nebraska’s Attorney General is leading the brigade. In a press conference in Lincoln, Bruning explained reasoning behind the lawsuit,
“This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state. While Colorado reaps millions from the sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost.”
The federal government does not have the resources to go after every case of state marijuana law violations, so the Cole Memorandum was drafted in compromise. The memorandum lists eight rules for states with legal marijuana, whether for medicinal or recreational use, must follow in order to avoid federal law enforcement. According the the Cole Memorandum, the federal government will allow states to enforce their own legalization laws as long as the states are able to demonstrate efforts to enforce the following criteria:
- Preventing minors from accessing cannabis
- Preventing cannabis sale revenue from reaching criminal cartels
- Preventing cannabis from reaching outside of the state in which it is legal
- Preventing cannabis sales from being used as a cover for other illegal activity
- Preventing gun violence related to marijuana sales
- Preventing driving under the influence of cannabis
- Preventing marijuana from being grown on public lands
- Preventing marijuana possession and use on federal property
Oklahoma and Nebraska Attorney Generals filed the suit because they feel Colorado is failing to uphold the third item of the agreement because cannabis is crossing state lines.
Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers, is not surprised by the lawsuit, as he has already fielded complaints from both neighboring states involved. Suthers released a statement exclaiming that Colorado will defend the voter approved amendment to the state constitution.