OKLAHOMA CITY – Earlier this week Oklahoma and Nebraska filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the justices to strike down Colorado’s marijuana legalization laws.
Now, thousands of people are petitioning Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, asking them to withdraw the lawsuit.
So far, more than 11,000 supporters have signed Marijuana Policy Project’s petition.
Once they receive 15,000 signatures, the group plans to send the following letter to Pruitt and Bruning.
Please withdraw the lawsuit challenging the laws that were approved by Colorado voters and state lawmakers to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol.
Marijuana prohibition is a failed public policy, and states should have the right to adopt a more sensible approach. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society, and it’s time to start treating it that way.
More than 10,000 signers have stood up in defense of Colorado's voter approved marijuana legalization laws! Sign here http://t.co/J8IRWaklpH
— Marijuana Policy Project (@MarijuanaPolicy) December 20, 2014
Colorado’s attorney general says the lawsuit is not surprising.
“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.