Although the U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected a lawsuit brought forth by Oklahoma and Nebraska demanding the immediate shutdown of the Colorado cannabis industry, a new report indicates the two prohibition states have not stopped devising war tactics to sabotage legal weed.
According to the Denver Post, Oklahoma and Nebraska have taken a clever approach to dismantling the marijuana industry in Colorado by petitioning the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to have their complaint integrated with a couple of other pot-related cases in an effort to bring down the hammer against recreational pot sales in a collective argument.
All of the complaints are basically the same—they allege that the implementation of Amendment 64 has, in one way or another, created hardships for cops and citizens because the law goes against the grain of the federal government.
Both of the cases in which Oklahoma and Nebraska are attempting to attach themselves to have already been dismissed by the U.S. District Court. One of the lawsuits, filed last year by a group of Colorado sheriffs, argued that the state’s cannabis industry should be eliminated because it is causing deputies to violate their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. The other complaint, which was filed by a small group of Pueblo residents, attempted to chastise Governor John Hickenlooper and a number of other defendants for allowing legal weed to interfere with their views of the Colorado landscape.
Although federal judges officially tossed these cases out of court earlier this year, they merged together into a single case for the appeals process. This is where Oklahoma and Nebraska hope to fit in—by weaseling their way into the appeal and stirring up enough drama to bring the case once again to the U.S. Supreme Court.
However, while Oklahoma and Nebraska seem intent on pursuing the lawsuit, legal experts say the two states do not stand a chance at securing a victory within the federal judicial system.
Citing the case’s recent denial by the U.S. Supreme Court, Keith Stoup, legal counsel for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told HIGH TIMES that the Court’s decision to dismiss the complaint implies that the issue of legal marijuana will likely continue to reign victorious when challenged in federal court.
“The Court's refusal to even hear the case suggests the Court would rule against their arguments,” Stroup explained, “even if they eventually reached the Court by more traditional means—filing the suit in Federal District Court; appealing a loss through the U.S. Court of Appeals; and then successfully petitioning the Supremes to accept the case for review."
“This means that the federal courts are almost certainly NOT going to step in and decide this issue,” he continued, “but rather they are satisfied to permit the political process to run its course over the next several years.”
Interestingly, the plaintiffs in the Pueblo case are against allowing Oklahoma and Nebraska’s case to be affiliated with their complaint. The two states are concerned that if they do not get a voice in the appeal, it “may effectively decide Nebraska and Oklahoma's claim before it has the chance of being litigated in front of any court.”
As it stands, there is no timeframe for the judges presiding over the 10th Circuit Court to decide whether to involve the two states in the appeal.
The Weed Blog