The Obama Administration recently advised the United States Supreme Court not to waste its time on a lawsuit brought about by both Nebraska and Oklahoma due to the states’ disdain for Colorado’s prospering cannabis industry. Both states are making claims that the legal trade of cannabis within Colorado state lines is causing an influx of “illegal” smuggling of the plant into their respective states.
One year ago, Nebraska and Oklahoma joined forces in an attempt to impose their misguided moralistic views of cannabis on an unwilling Colorado State, by taking their claims to the Supreme Court. However, Colorado fought back, demanding the Supreme Court dismiss the case, prompting the justices to ask the federal government to chime in before making a final decision.
Justice Department’s U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. wrote a letter persuading the Supreme Court to reject the lawsuit based on the premise that it is not the proper venue for this grievance:
“The motion for leave to file a bill of complaint should be denied because this is not an appropriate case for the exercise of this Court’s original jurisdiction. Entertaining the type of dispute at issue here — essentially that one State’s laws make it more likely that third parties will violate federal and state law in another State — would represent a substantial and unwarranted expansion of this Court’s original jurisdiction.”
Verrilli’s letter urges the court to avoid hearing the case on the grounds that the issues of which Oklahoma and Nebraska are claiming to battle, due to the implementation of Colorado’s marijuana market, are actions taken by individuals and not by the state:
“Nebraska and Oklahoma essentially contend that Colorado’s authorization of licensed intrastate marijuana production and distribution increases the likelihood that third parties will commit criminal offenses in Nebraska and Oklahoma by bringing marijuana purchased from licensed entities in Colorado into those states. But they do not allege that Colorado has directed or authorized any individual to transport marijuana into their territories in violation of their laws. Nor would any such allegation be plausible.”
“This is the right move by the Obama administration, Colorado and a growing number of states have decided to move away from decades of failed prohibition laws, and so far things seem to be working out as planned. Legalization generates tax revenue, creates jobs and takes the market out of the hands of drug cartels and gangs. New federal data released this week shows that as more legalization laws come online, we’re not seeing an increase in teen marijuana use, despite our opponents’ scare tactics. The Justice Department is correct here: This lawsuit is without merit and should be dismissed.” Tom Angell with the Marijuana Majority told HIGH TIMES in an emailed statement.
However, when considering the public opinion of the American people in regards to cannabis, it would seem that this is the least they could do. One would think that public opinion would dictate the creation and adjustment of a democratic nation’s laws, but as is quite clear when looking over the last decade of the War on Drugs, the opinion of the people is quite literally inconsequential to the actual passage and manipulation of this county’s laws. While states are slowly getting on board with the reality of this extremely useful plant, cannabis continues to remain on the Schedule I Restricted Substance List and is Federally illegal. The Last American Vagabond commends the Obama Administration for peeking its head out to squeak its support for the continuance of Colorado’s cannabis industry, but the people want more. The people cry out for their supposed democratic leaders to represent what they actually want, and that is a true democratic representation of the will of the people, and the Truth.