States’ fight against Colorado marijuana laws on tap in fed court

A bid to stamp out Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry is scheduled to go before a federal appeals court Tuesday morning.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver will hear oral arguments in an appeals case that claims Colorado’s recreational cannabis laws fly in the face of federal controlled substances and racketeering laws.

The case, a consolidation of separate appeals backed by national anti-legalization groups, was joined last year by the states of Nebraska and…

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Election Day Voter Guides

Today is the day! This is the biggest election in marijuana policy reform history, but even if you can’t vote on a legalization or medical marijuana ballot initiative today, you could play an important part to make future progress possible in your state.logo-mpp-286-mpp-and-we-change-laws

Before you vote, please check out MPP’s voter guides if you live in the following places:

Delaware

District of Columbia

Illinois

Nebraska

New Hampshire

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Vermont

And don’t forget to tell your friends in Arizona, Arkansas, California, FloridaMaine,

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NE, OK Again Try to Overturn CO Rec Marijuana Law

The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma aren’t ready to throw in the towel in their bid to overthrow Colorado’s recreational cannabis law, after the duo recently failed to do so before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The two attorneys general have asked to be added as plaintiffs in a separate case aimed at scuttling Colorado’s 2012 voter-approved rec law. That case is now before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, just making the request…

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Supreme Court Dismisses States’ Lawsuit Against Colorado

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed Nebraska and Oklahoma’s lawsuit challenging Colorado’s marijuana regulation laws.

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The decision is available here.

The attorneys general for Nebraska and Oklahoma filed the lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court in December 2014, arguing that the state’s decision to regulate the cultivation and distribution of marijuana was “placing stress on their criminal justice systems.” The Colorado and U.S. governments both filed briefs urging the court to dismiss the…

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Our Recent Supreme Court Victory and What It Means

Our Recent Supreme Court Victory and What It Means

The recent decision by the US Supreme Court to refuse to hear a challenge to the Colorado marijuana legalization law was a significant victory for those who favor legalizing marijuana and a significant set-back for those who thought the federal courts might help them hold on to the increasingly unpopular policy of criminal prohibition. The name of the case was States of Nebraska and Oklahoma v. State of Colorado.

Original Jurisdiction

First, here’s a brief lesson in Supreme Court jurisprudence. Nearly all cases that make it to the US…

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Marijuana Lawsuit Against Colorado Rejected by SCOTUS

Marijuana Lawsuit Against Colorado Rejected by SCOTUS

In 2012, Colorado voted to legalize marijuana production, sales, and consumption for adults, but two neighboring states claimed the law is causing marijuana to spill into their states, creating a law enforcement burden, and that the law is a violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to hear a lawsuit Nebraska and Oklahoma brought against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law, a rare case falling under the Court’s original jurisdiction to hear lawsuits between states.

In…

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US Supreme Court Tosses States’ Lawsuit Against Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

US Supreme Court Tosses States’ Lawsuit Against Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

The United States Supreme Court has refused to take up a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma over Colorado’s legalization of marijuana.

WASHINGTON, DC — On Monday, the United States Supreme Court declined to take up a lawsuit filed against Colorado by neighboring states over the legalization of marijuana.

The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, who asked the Court to find that Colorado’s laws legalizing the state-licensed production and sale of marijuana to adults violates the United…

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Scalia’s Death Could Scuttle Anti-Rec Lawsuit

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death could have a major impact on the cannabis industry.

On Friday, the court will weigh whether or not to take up a lawsuit that aims to overturn Colorado’s landmark recreational cannabis law.

For the lawsuit to advance, at least four justices have to vote in favor of hearing the case.

No one knows how Scalia would have voted. But given his history and public comments, it’s quite possible he would have supported a move to take…

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SCOTUS Should Dismiss States’ Challenge to Colorado Marijuana Legalization, Solicitor General Says

SCOTUS Should Dismiss States’ Challenge to Colorado Marijuana Legalization, Solicitor General Says

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli Jr., issued a statement Wednesday advising the Supreme Court not to hear a lawsuit Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law last December.

Oklahoma and Nebraska attorneys general filed the suit in hopes of re-criminalizing marijuana in Colorado, claiming it had created a burden on their own law enforcement agencies and because marijuana is still federally illegal.

The Solicitor General stated, “Entertaining the type of dispute here – essentially…

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Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court to Dismiss States’ Suit Against Colorado Pot Law

Obama Administration Urges Supreme Court to Dismiss States’ Suit Against Colorado Pot Law

In a brief filed Wednesday, the US Solicitor General urged the Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado’s marijuana legalization law.

The two states had filed the lawsuit in December 2014, complaining that “the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system” and that “marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff States’ own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice…

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Nebraska Senate Passes Bill to Study Cannabidiol for Seizures

Nebraska Senate Passes Bill to Study Cannabidiol for Seizures

LINCOLN, NE — Lawmakers in the Nebraska Senate have approved a measure that could soon allow residents suffering from severe seizure disorders to participate in a study on the effectiveness of cannabidiol.

Senators voted 44-2 on Thursday to approve LB 390, which would commission a University of Nebraska Medical Center study on the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating severe epileptic seizures.  The bill was sponsored by Sen. Sue Crawford (N-Bellevue).

Under the proposed “Medical Cannabidiol Pilot Study,” only the Nebraska…

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Nebraska Gives First Round Approval to Medical Marijuana Bill

Nebraska Gives First Round Approval to Medical Marijuana Bill

LINCOLN, NE — Lawmakers in the Nebraska Senate have given first round approval to a bill that would allow patients suffering from certain serious medical conditions access to some forms of medical marijuana.

The Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, LB 643, was approved on a first round 27-12 vote Tuesday.  The bill has now entered an enrollment and review period before it can advance to a second debate and vote.

Under LB 643, patients suffering from the following ailments would be eligible for medical marijuana in Nebraska:  cancer;…

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Colorado Defends Marijuana Legalization Law; Asks SCOTUS to Drop Suit

Colorado Defends Marijuana Legalization Law; Asks SCOTUS to Drop Suit

DENVER, CO — States are free to legalize marijuana, Colorado argued Friday in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit from neighboring states that have asked the nation’s highest court to shut down Colorado’s pot law.

The filing marks the first time Colorado has defended legal marijuana in writing. The federal government did not sue to block the state’s 2012 vote to legalize pot for all adults over 21.

Colorado said that Nebraska and Oklahoma should sue the federal government for not enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, not other states. Colorado said the states’ “quarrel is not with Colorado but with the federal government’s” approach to letting states experiment with pot law.

“Nebraska and Oklahoma filed this case in an attempt to reach across…

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Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization Laws Under Attack in Federal Court

Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization Laws Under Attack in Federal Court

DENVER, CO – A group of 11 sheriffs and county attorneys from Colorado and neighboring Plains states filed a federal complaint against Colorado’s Gov. John Hickenlooper to stop the sale of recreational marijuana in that state.

The complaint challenges Colorado’s Amendment 64 under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the federal Controlled Substances Act, saying it places an unfair burden on the law-enforcement offices to corral the overflow of recreational marijuana now spilling into areas where possession remains illegal.

“The nation’s anti-drug laws reflect a well-established balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and societal priorities,” the complaint states. “If allowed to continue in effect, Amendment 64’s legalization and…

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Sheriffs Sue Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

Sheriffs Sue Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

DENVER, CO — In another attempt to thwart the will of Colorado voters, sheriffs from Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming that the state’s law legalizing marijuana creates a “crisis of conscience” and puts an economic burden on other states.

Larimer County (Colorado) Sheriff Justin Smith is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which asks a federal court in Denver to strike down the 2012 voter-approved Amendment 64, and to order the state’s licensed marijuana stores — over 330 at last count — to close.

Sheriff Smith claims that every day he must decide whether to violate the Colorado Constitution, under which marijuana is legal, or the United States Constitution.  Marijuana is prohibited at the federal level.

Smith is joined by sheriffs in…

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Oklahoma Republicans Encourage AG to Drop Lawsuit Against Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

Oklahoma Republicans Encourage AG to Drop Lawsuit Against Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Citing concerns that it could undermine their own state’s fight to govern themselves under the 10th Amendment, several Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma are urging Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt to drop his lawsuit against the state of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana.

The lawsuit, titled States of Nebraska and Oklahoma v. State of Colorado, was filed in December by Pruitt and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and asks the United States Supreme Court to strike down Colorado’s law legalizing marijuana on the basis that it is “fundamentally at odds” with the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The suit, filed directly with the US Supreme Court, alleges that marijuana is being diverted into their states from Colorado, causing plaintiffs to suffer…

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