WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has rejected an effort by Nebraska and Oklahoma to have Colorado’s pot legalization declared unconstitutional.
The justices are not commenting Monday in dismissing the lawsuit the states filed directly at the Supreme Court against their neighbor.
They argued that Colorado’s law allowing recreational marijuana use by adults runs afoul of federal anti-drug laws. The states also said that legalized pot in Colorado is spilling across the borders into Nebraska and Oklahoma, complicating their anti-drug efforts and draining state resources.
The Obama administration had sided with Colorado, despite the administration’s opposition to making marijuana use legal.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would have heard the states’ lawsuit.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt released the following statement after the Supreme Court’s decision:
“We were hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court would exercise its original jurisdiction to address the unwillingness of President Obama’s Justice Department to do its job, namely, enforce the law against the illegal flow of marijuana into 36 states across the country. We agree with Justices Thomas and Alito that the Supreme Court should have taken the case.
The fact remains – Colorado marijuana continues to flow into Oklahoma, in direct violation of federal and state law. Colorado should do the right thing and stop refusing to take reasonable steps to prevent the flow of marijuana outside of its border. And the Obama administration should do its job under the Constitution and enforce the Controlled Substances Act.
Until they do, Oklahoma will continue to utilize every law enforcement tool available to it to ensure that the flow of illegal drugs into our state is stopped.”
However, not everyone was upset with the decision.
“I am very pleased with the Court’s decision. I do not condone the use of marijuana, nor do I support the legalization of it, but we live in a federalist society that was created to protect the sovereignty of the states. Every state should be permitted to govern its citizens as that state’s elected officials see fit. We don’t want or need the federal government dictating to the states what activities or substances it must criminalize. Unlike the federal government, our states are allowed to experiment with various policies and social structures, which are wanted or which benefit the state’s citizens. If a citizen doesn’t like the policies or social structures in one state, he or she can freely move to another. This decision today was a victory for those of us who believe in states’ rights,” said Rep. Mike Ritze.