Oklahoma City | Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has just received another round of pushback from his decision to sue the state of Colorado for legalizing marijuana. Back in December, Attorney Generals from Oklahoma and Nebraska filed a suit against the state of Colorado citing Colorado’s responsibility to keep marijuana leaving the state with out-of-state residents.
This week, Oklahoma protesters gathered outside of Pruitt’s office in protest of his lawsuit. The protesters are upset with Pruitt, a champion of states’ rights, for going back on one of his core beliefs in the suit against Colorado. Chelsea Kennedy, who organized the rally said, “States have the right to govern themselves and Scott Pruitt, while claiming to support the Constitution, is clearly violating it.”
A spokesman for AG Pruitt issued this statement in response to the protest:
“To be clear, the lawsuit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska does not challenge in any manner or form Colorado’s legalization of marijuana for use and possession in that state. Rather, the lawsuit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska challenges only the portion of Colorado’s law that legalized the commercialization of marijuana because those actions by Colorado have led to an influx of illegal drugs entering surrounding states like Oklahoma in violation of our state laws.”
The proclaimed increase in illegal drug activity was dismissed by Oklahoma Rep. Mike Ritze who said, “We’re searching for a non-problem. I’m looking at data, and it’s not there.”
The protest came just days after other Oklahoma lawmakers issued their disapproval of the Attorney General’s lawsuit. Ritze who loudly opposes AG Pruitt said, “If the people of Colorado want to end prohibition of marijuana, while I may personally disagree with the decision, constitutionally speaking, they are entitled to do so.”
As you might know, the Attorney Generals’ in Oklahoma and Nebraska filed a lawsuit last week against the state of Colorado for legalizing recreational marijuana. The lawsuit claims Amendment 64 is a ‘dangerous law’ that violates the Controlled Substances act of 1970. Since the announcement, the MPP, NCIA and other professional cannabis organizations have called the lawsuit “meritless” and “on the wrong side of history.”
While I couldn’t agree more, I still wondered – exactly who are these two attorney generals leading this crusade against marijuana? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not exceedingly familiar with either of these elected officials, nor each states’ politics. I only knew of both having a reputation of being on the red side of the political line. With that in mind, I went digging for some more information about these gents. The following facts are probably unknown to those living outside of the respective states.
Jon Bruning – NE
Nebraska’s Attorney General has accepted over $86,000 from the alcohol industry in last 4 years.
He has taken more than $10,000 in political donations from Monsanto, and voiced his support for the corporation multiple times.
He does not tolerate people on welfare. In 2011 Bruning was quoted as saying, “The raccoons figured out the beetles are in the bucket… “And it’s like grapes in a jar. The raccoons, they’re not stupid, they’re gonna do the easy way if we make it easy for them.” referring to welfare recipients.
As the main legal adviser for the Nebraska state government, he lost $725,000 of state money (10% of the AG annual budget) in a controversial patent lawsuit.
Bruning made the decision to waive Nelnet’s settlement lawsuit, later revealing that multiple people from Nelnet had donated to his campaign.
Nebraska is one of two states without a prescription monitoring program. This fact is not specific to Mr. Bruning but, it is still relevant information.
Alcohol, big agriculture and a thriving prescription black market combine to form a deadly triple-threat.
Scott Pruitt – OK
Recent NY Times piece revealed Pruitt’s extreme backdoor dealings with the energy industry.
He’s really not a fan of gay marriage or abortion.
Pruitt has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency multiple times, citing “a war on fossil fuels” as the reason.
As the main legal adviser for the state of Oklahoma, he has accepted campaign contributions from the following companies: Advance Cash America, American Cash Express, Phillip Morris, Koch Industries, Exxonmobil, and many other corporations with less-than-upstanding reputations.
Thanks to the fine folks at FollowTheMoney.org for sourcing all this data and making it really easy to create this logo montage of companies that have donated to one or both of the gents in question.
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 because they claim legal Colorado cannabis is crossing state lines. 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.
Do you want to show your support for Colorado’s right to state legalization? Click here to sign the petition on Chang.org, courtesy of the Marijuana Policy Project. The petition is “calling on Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to withdraw the lawsuit and end their crusade to maintain marijuana prohibition.”
photo credit: Change.org