UPDATE: Several Oklahoma lawmakers say they are concerned about a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska over Colorado's marijuana laws.
Last month, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a lawsuit, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate Colorado's legalization laws.
However, Rep. Mike Ritze sent a letter to Pruitt, saying the lawsuit could have serious implications to our own state.
“That is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind and that is not what the people of Oklahoma stand for. The Constitution reserved the police power to the states, therefore states are the proper venue for determining what their own civil and criminal codes should be, not the federal government or the UN. Our Founding Fathers intended the states to be laboratories of self-government, free to tinker and experiment with different ideas. The founders, from Jefferson to Madison, were also strong proponents of states nullifying unconstitutional federal actions. 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. Neither the commerce clause nor the supremacy clause grants the federal government the power to regulate intrastate trade or commandeer state and local resources in pursuit of a policy. If citizens of that state don’t like it, they are free to use the process to change the laws or move to another state. The last thing we need is the federal government and the UN trying to dictate our criminal codes and control our commercial activities,” Ritze said.
OKLAHOMA CITY - After legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, Colorado is at the heart of a lawsuit.
The Denver Post is reporting that Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the justices to strike down Colorado's legalization laws.
The Colorado attorney general's office says the lawsuit alleges "that Colorado's Amendment 64 and its implementing legislation regarding marijuana is unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution."
"Because neighboring states have expressed concern about Colorado-grown marijuana coming into their states, we are not entirely surprised by this action," said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. "However, it appears the plaintiff's primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana, as opposed to choices made by the voters of Colorado. We believe this suit is without merit and we will vigorously defend against it in the U.S. Supreme Court."
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt issued the following statement about the lawsuit:
"Fundamentally, Oklahoma and states surrounding Colorado are being impacted by Colorado's decision to legalize and promote the commercialization of marijuana which has injured Oklahoma's ability to enforce our state's policies against marijuana. Federal law classifies marijuana as an illegal drug. The health and safety risks posed by marijuana, especially to children and teens, are well documented. The illegal products being distributed in Colorado are being trafficked across state lines thereby injuring neighboring states like Oklahoma and Nebraska. As the state's chief legal officer, the attorney general's office is taking this step to protect the health and safety of Oklahomans."
Wallace Collins, the chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, issued the following statement regarding Pruitt's involvement with the lawsuit.
"It is astounding that Mr. Pruitt didn't even realize that the Republican bill passed by his colleagues last week contains language that prohibits the US Department of Justice from interfering with state marijuana laws. It is ironic that Mr. Pruitt is the crusader against frivolous lawsuits, but he personally files a significant number of them. Also, I thought Mr. Pruitt campaigned on home rule and local control, but he is the first to fight local control and home rule. Did the pharmaceutical industry write this lawsuit for him?"
When speaking about the pharmaceutical industry, Collins is referring to a recent controversy involving Pruitt and his alleged ties with energy companies.