Back in January, I wrote an article about how Nebraska and Oklahoma had filed a lawsuit against Colorado, in attempt to get Amendment 64 repealed by the Supreme Court. They claimed that the new laws in Colorado were putting an extra burden on their own police force, criminal justice system, and jails. According to Marijuana.com, they were comparing marijuana crossing borders to pollution.
It has been over a year since the lawsuit was originally filed – and the Supreme Court has taken plenty of time before deciding whether or not to even hear the case. There were, of course, many people who sided with the neighboring states, but there seemed to be a larger number of people – including the Obama Administration – who encouraged the Supreme Court to drop the case.
Considering how long the court had already pondered this without making a decision, it was expected to take even longer after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Over the past couple of months the court was scheduled to discuss the case on as many as four different occasions – the most recent being this past Friday when their final decision was made.
Statement from Tamar Todd, Director, Office of Legal Affairs of the Drug Policy Alliance:
“The Supreme Court’s rejection of this misguided effort to undo cautious and effective state-level regulation of marijuana is excellent news for the many other states looking to adopt similar reforms in 2016 and beyond. Other states are looking to what Colorado has accomplished: the drops in racially disparate arrests, the criminal justice dollars saved, and the tax revenue raised and want to adopt similar marijuana law reforms. The dismissal of this action means that the four states that have adopted ballot initiatives by decisive margins to tax and regulate marijuana for adults, as well as the many states that have adopted laws to regulate medical marijuana, can proceed without interference at this time.
“The Federal government itself filed a brief with the high court asking that it not hear this case. It has not challenged the regulatory law in Colorado nor did it choose to interfere with its implementation. To the contrary, the government has deprioritized enforcement of state-level marijuana reforms and acknowledged the interests that both states and the Federal government have in openly regulating marijuana.”
While the states who filed the complaint in the first place are definitely upset over the decision, it is quite clear where the court stood on the subject. With the federal government backing their decision to stay out of these matters, we are clearly on the right path.