It was just about a month ago now that the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to take the case of Nebraska and Oklahoma V.S. Colorado. The lawsuit filed by Colorado’s neighboring states more or less stated that the courts should uphold federal law over state law, with reasons such as having to spend more law enforcement hours and funds dealing with marijuana coming in from the state having legalized it. In the end, after some urging from the Obama Administration, the courts eventually decided to drop the case.
Unfortunately, that didn’t sit very well with those who filed the lawsuit and we should have known they would find another way to jump in and try to get their way. Along with the lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma, there were also two other lawsuits against Colorado’s Amendment 64 that were filed by a group of county sheriffs and some rural homeowners who live right next to where a marijuana grow happened to open up. These lawsuits were dismissed in lower courts and are currently awaiting the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
In response to having their case dismissed, Nebraska and Oklahoma have asked to be added to the two other cases in appeals. If their motion were to be approved, three separate cases would be consolidated into one case that is waiting to be heard – the two other cases were already consolidated after they appealed the decision of a Colorado Federal Judge who dismissed their cases. Since Amendment 64 was implemented after being voted in during the 2012 election, there have been legal motions attempting to reverse legalization.
“They want to short circuit the process,” the county’s (Pueblo) lawyers wrote.
Only a week after the motion was filed by the state’s lawyers, the county of Pueblo responded by saying that they oppose the idea of allowing them to become a part of the current lawsuits. They have a valid point, their case was brought up through similar processes prior to being dismissed by the Supreme Court – that was their attempt and it failed; if they wish to continue they should have started with filing a new case motion, not attempting to intrude on existing cases.
There is no specific date before which the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals must make a decision on whether or not to allow Nebraska and Oklahoma to join the current appeals – hopefully they have the same feelings on it as Pueblo county (where the rural homeowners lawsuit originated) about the situation and not allow this motion to go through.