colorado marijuana legalization denver da
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Nebraska And Oklahoma Sue Colorado Over Marijuana Legalization

colorado marijuana legalization denver daToday, Nebraska and Oklahoma sued the state of Colorado over its marijuana legalization law, saying the law has created an increased law enforcement burden in neighboring states. The suit, filed by Nebraska Attorney General John Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, claims federal marijuana prohibition preempts Colorado’s law. Colorado voters decisively adopted Amendment 64 in 2012.

Statement from Tamar Todd, Director, Marijuana Law and Policy, Drug Policy Alliance:

“This is a misguided effort to undo cautious and effective state-level regulation of marijuana and to undermine the will of the voters and legislators who enacted it.  Today’s action isn’t just a challenge to Colorado but to the ability and authority of all states to regulate and control marijuana within their borders as they see fit. It implicates the four states that have adopted ballot initiatives by decisive margins to tax and regulate marijuana for adults as well as the 34 states that have adopted laws to regulate medical marijuana.

“The Federal government itself has not challenged the regulatory law in Colorado nor did they choose to interfere with its implementation. To the contrary, the government has deprioritized enforcement of state-level marijuana reforms and acknowledged the interests that both states and the Federal government have in openly regulating marijuana. And just this past week, a historic vote in Congress barred the use of federal resources from interfering with state medical marijuana programs. Today’s action is nothing more than an effort to cling to the failed policies of the war on drugs and interfere with a new common sense, less harmful approach to marijuana.”

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation

  • Lollie Dot Com

    Nebraska and Oklahoma have been needing to focus on Meth instead of pot for years now and this is a very good time for them to start. Just stop with all the gestapo against pot shit already.

    • Denny

      These two states have absurd laws regarding cannabis possession for any amount to include the ridiculous per se’ law that allows a cop to arrest someone based on an assumption such as “the smell in the vehicle was marijuana” even though none was found during a complete search.
      In addition, you can be sent to jail for 6 months in these two states for the possession of any amount of cannabis, even a stem found in the trunk or glove box.
      If the president would come through on his numerous promises to reschedule it these kinds of law enforcement encounters could become a thing of the past. But odds are that is not going to happen any time soon since there are no votes or campaign $$ riding on it now.

      • David

        Give him some time. He still has 20+ months in office. Do you follow any news other than cannabis policy? If so, look at what’s happened internationally just this week alone. The man already has a lot on his plate to deal with. And I’m not referring to his wife and two teen-aged daughter’s.

        • He has had 75+ months so far. The latest (ongoing) stall is “needs more research”.

          I place no faith in politicians. Legalization will happen because it is forced on them. .

          • David

            The Supreme Court of the United States could take the Oklahoma-Nebraska case and through it re-instate nationwide cannabis prohibition making prohibition the law of the land. Don’t laugh, It’s entirely possible.The Supreme’s would have the last word. Personally, I wouldn’t count on the 2/3 of Americans who didn’t bother to vote in last Novembers elections either. They’re the one’s who bitch the loudest when things don’t go their way. If this were to actually happen, a Constitutional Amendment would be the only recourse for a reversal. With so many backward states among the fifty comprising America, you can forget about that ever happening

          • They could very well rule that all laws must be made in Washington. But I highly doubt it.

            It is actually the backward States that least want to be ruled by Washington.

          • David

            They want it both ways, and always have. I say let them eat cake!

      • Cleanslate

        Unfortunately, rescheduling to schedule II won’t help the cause. Meth and cocaine are on schedule II and are high on the list for arrests by law enforcers.

        It has to be taken off the controlled substances list entirely and treated as a dietary supplement Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, along with all of the other herbal supplements. Allowing the prohibitionist to redefined cannabis as a drug, instead of a herb, has given them the high ground for 70 years.

        It is going to be very tough to overcome that commanding position they have. The first step towards doing that is not to adopt their definition of cannabis being a drug or narcotic in anyway. It is and always has been, for thousands of years, the sacred healing plant — the “herb of herbs.”

        • Ideally yes. But what Schedule II would do is allow human research. And that would open the floodgates.

          No more taxed than tomatoes.

          • Cleanslate

            Yes it would allow additional research, but it would still be treated as a drug, and a restricted drug at that, just as cocaine and meth are. Both of those drugs can be researched and prescribed by physicians. Removing cannabis from straightjacket of schedule I would allow universities and Big Pharma to more freely research it. This on the face of it would look like a boon for medical cannabis, but it wouldn’t be. It would still be classified as a controlled substance with only powerful institutions having legitimate access to the plant and having to go through rigorous and expensive trials, including double blind, randomized, placebo studies.

            Only Big Pharma and universities underwritten by government grants would be permitted to do those kinds of studies. But those studies are only appropriate and designed for drugs. Drugs that are simple, synthesized active compound that has never existed in nature and must be tested for toxicity in animal models before they even reach phase one human trials.

            Cannabis is not a drug but an amazingly complex plant (at least 932 compounds acting synergistically) that defies our simplistic attempts to analyze and quantify it. Big Pharma is not particularly interested in botanicals, which they cannot patent, only in isolates from botanicals that they can synthesize and then patent.

            Pharmacologists have contempt for herbal medicines, which they often describe as crude plant matter that needs to be purified and synthesized before it can be considered authentic and effective medicine. This is now being done by Big Pharma corporations like GW Pharmaceuticals with its Sativex product, which derives THC and CBD from two especially approved and patented strains of cannabis. But this is not to be confused with medical cannabis, which is whole plant.

            We may eventually see a type of legalization of cannabis at the national level. But it will be more like that of Uruguay, with a tightly regulated state monopoly; which allows only officially sanctioned strains to be grown. In the United States, which is a corporatocracy, the government will give the actual implementation over to corporations: Big Pharma for medical cannabis; Monsanto for industrial Hemp via GMO cannabis; and Big Tobacco for so-called recreational marijuana.

            The “big boys” have seen the futility and shortsightedness of 20th style prohibition. The more sensible and profitable approach is not to beat/prohibit cannabis but to assimilate and co-opt it.

            But that will not be the last word by a long shot. Cannabis is more than we know and its roots run very, very deep
            indeed. It will remain true to itself and help heal the world. The Powers (government, corporations, et all) will pass away but the holy (wholeness), healing, herb will abide.

          • Agree with all your points. The government has some big problems on its hands with cannabis.

            What wonders me is that so many in the cannabis community still believe in government.

          • David

            When cannabis is eventually rescheduled and, unlike today, scientist’s allowed to conduct federally funded research, it will take years for the U.S. to catch up with many other countries, particularly Israel and Switzerland . I’m thankful these countries continued their scientific research and studies, as America slowly emerges from a self-inflicted cannabis Dark Age.

          • Don’t forget Spain and a University in Madrid whose name I can’t spell (Compultense?). Dr. Christina Sanchez works there.

      • James

        In addition, you can be sent to jail for 6 months in these two states for the possession of any amount of cannabis”

        This is not true. Nebraska has very different laws than Oklahoma. Marijuana possession is decriminalized in Nebraska, limited to infraction your first time caught.

  • tasha

    Just legalize and we wont be hearing this crud!!

  • Silly Rabbit

    Are they going to sue the Tribal Lands as well?

    • David

      I don’t see how they can. In fact the timing of this lawsuit may very well be a knee-jerk reaction from these two states in the heart of Indian country. Cannabis prohibition’s true roots come from the motivation of certain politicians in one of these two suing states in the 1930’s. Then it was Oklahoma,along with Texas, leading the way in legally squelching marijuana use among migrant minority communities. .

  • There is no way they can force Colorado to arrest people. Ijits. And funny thing Colorado has the Alcohol Prohibition defense. Alcohol Prohibition went down in part because the States wouldn’t enforce it and the Feds didn’t have the resources.

  • You know who is going to be favorable to Colorado? The Prohibition Party – The Republicans – because they are also the States Rights Party.

    The Republicans I can tell you are none too happy about the States that have legalized but they are going to want those votes in 2016, so States Rights will predominate.

    They also want States to be able to opt out of other Federal laws.

    • moldy

      If you go to conservative blogs you’ll see them denouncing big pharma in defense of cannabis. It’s a beautiful thing! They’ll rip apart anything a liberal will say but when it comes to weed, most of the grass roots repubes are for legal weed.

      • It is the older conservatives who haven’t caught on. The over 60 group. They never got to experience the war first hand (in school). It mostly happened after they were out of school. They are dying off at the rate of 1 million a year.

        • David

          The years I went to high-school were 1968-71. If you do the math, I’m sixty-one. We rolled and smoked pot just outside our school doors. There were students a few years older than me, whom some referred to as “Greasers”. These are the people you probably meant, in your age discriminatory statement. If you missed the anti- Vietnam war movement with it’s huge riots nationwide, you’d know that.pot use was considered a large part of the Counter-Culture/anti-war movement. These times were more intense than having a few D.A.R.E. dogs sniff your friends school lockers. My entire school would have walked out and shut the school down over it. We did so many times, when they tried to impose male hair-length restrictions, dress-codes, and because we knew we were subject to the military draft. We always prevailed. You may well have been traumatized by drug sniffing dogs. I was against that in middle-age, and wrote letter’s to my state representatives telling them so. Because it was wrong..

          • I’m about 10 years older than you. No drug dogs. Which is why I say that it is the over 60 crowd (probably actually over 65) that is the last impediment.

            I was in Bezerkely in ’67. Also there for the Century City riots. Mario Savio. etc.

          • David

            I was at the anti-war protests in Washington D.C. back in 1971 (which became needlessly violent, due to police aggressiveness). I had my ankle broken by a police baton trying to get out of the way. still bothers me today.. Anyway, pinning an age is difficult but there were some clear distinctions back then as now. I’d go with the over 65+ crowd. Most of my friends up to about 65 still use cannabis the same as we did back in the 60’s early 70’s. The other group the “greasers” (you surely remember them?) being a few years older graduated from high school and college just a enough years ahead they were able to obtain positions of political power, influence and money, which of course equals control. I agree that Their time is now fading . It’s left up to the rest of us, those who stood up for our rights back then to also do so now. Happy Holidays.

        • Denny

          Once again you’ve stepped on it big time–I’m well beyond 60 and have a state-issued medical cannabis card.
          Lumping everyone into one group/mindset based on age will bite you every time.
          I served in the military during the 60s and 70s and had to deal with numerous protests/protestors that jokingly stuck joints into the barrels of weapons, and not a shot was fired because of it. It was a time of war protesting, not about legalizing of marijuana.
          Personally, I was pleased to see a crowd of weed-whackers because the odds of them becoming violent was almost nil. If they had been consuming alcohol at the same rate things would have gotten ugly often.
          Before you embarrass yourself again, think.

          • Well Denny,

            I was on both sides in that era. Qualified Naval Nuke. When I was training at Naval ET School, Treasure Island, I was in Bezerkely for Mario Savio. Left the Navy in ’67. Was at Century City. And later in Bezerkely again for that excitement. Including Altamont (I stayed home for that – you could feel the bad vibes well ahead of the event).

            And the War I’m speaking of is the Drug War in the schools. I was out of High School in ’62. No drug dogs. No locker searches.

      • David

        In Oklahoma “Obamacare” is “overreach”. Whereas, trying to eliminate voter approved law is not.

        • You expect consistency from politicians?

  • Olaf

    I think every single citizen of Colorado needs to petition for a lawsuit to sue Nebraska and Oklahoma for violation of their civil rights.

    • Why waste the money? They have Alcohol Prohibition on their side.

  • David

    Did Nebraska and Oklahoma just slam the brakes on the national legalization movement ? This lawsuit should be viewed with alarm and with the seriousness it deserves. The potential outcome of this lawsuit could be devastating for every medical marijuana State/ patient and every state already having or, wanting to legalize cannabis.. These two states AG’s want to see the issue of Colorado’s alleged “outflow” taken all the way to the SCOTUS for a ruling. Washington State CAVED last summer to cities wanting to opt out of the 502 store plan, to avoid this very thing from happening. This one took many people by surprise. Let’s be clear the true intention here is two state AG’s wanting to legally force their anti-cannabis prohibitionist belief’s upon the entire United States ( apparently now excluding Indian land). What should those states now in the process of implementing new adult recreational or new medical marijuana laws do ? Wait? See how far this goes? It’s just bothersome in the least worrisome at most that this lawsuit does have a potential to slow things down nationally. This lawsuit is a Trojan Horse, packed with ill-will and antipathy for states viewed by these two AG’s spearheading pro-cannabis, anti-prohibitionist /medical marijuana laws and policies. Ones they believe unconstitutional and therefore against federal law. I don’t know much about Nebraska, except than Warren Buffet lives there. Oklahoma, however, I know as a tremendously wealthy state having very deep pockets, mainly due to it’s fossil fuel/ natural gas revenue. No good can come of this if the Roberts Supreme Court takes up this case.

    • Did Nebraska and Oklahoma just slam the brakes on the national legalization movement ?

      No. They can’t make Colorado arrest anybody. Worst case: no law. Cannabis is treated like tomatoes except you can’t sell it in stores.

      • David

        It’s not about arrests. It’s intent is to get a SCOTUS ruling outlawing legal marijuana in every state. It’s a hail- Mary but occasionally hail-Mary’s are caught.

        • They can’t force states to pass laws or arrest people. If the Constitution is in effect. But I was of the opinion that they couldn’t force people to buy a product or that tax laws had to originate in the House.

          But the Left and the Right have so shredded the Constitution that it is difficult to figure out if it has any meaning any more.

          There is no Drug Prohibition Amendment. Neither the left nor the right seems to care. The ever elastic commerce clause covers it.

        • Thing is – the States that want to oppose the ACA would not want the court to rule the way you suggest.

    • They can’t make Colorado arrest anyone.

    • Ece Genetics

      Its an absolute JOKE, and should be looked at as such. Please, the people of CO voted and WON point blank. Why are the people of this great nation so afraid of our elected officials? After all, didn’t we put them into office? What is going on in this Country, seriously, complete and utter turmoil and it all stems from fuckin GREED!
      Off topic, lol, we can’t even see a boxing fight that we all should have seen by now 9 (Pac-Man vs Mayweather) but the politics always have to get in the way of everything that the public wants, and it always comes down to who’s pockets get fatter faster, lol!!

      • David

        Personally , I wouldn’t invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain a state grower/retailer license, open a store, until I knew what
        the Roberts SCOTUS does with this stinker. It does have the potential to slow everything cannabis related down nationwide.

      • It is not greed. It is lust for power.

  • skoallio

    I thought the Constitution and the Bill of Rights only defines what the government cannot do, not what it can do. The words “marijuana” “cannabis” or “drugs” is no where in the constitution.

    • Valient

      The Constitution defines what powers the government has and limits it to what’s contained within. Any further changes require an Amendment. The government “bypassed” this by adding the Controlled Substances Act to the Commerce Clause because the illegal black market of drugs could potentially affect interstate commerce.

      from the Commerce Clause Wiki
      -in Gonzales v. Raich the Court upheld a ban on growing marijuana intended for medical use on the grounds that Congress could rationally conclude that such cultivation might make enforcement of drug laws more difficult by creating an otherwise lawful source of marijuana that could be diverted into the illicit market:

      In assessing the scope of Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause, we stress that the task before us is a modest one. We need not determine whether respondents’ activities, taken in the aggregate, substantially affect interstate commerce in fact, but only whether a “rational basis” exists for so concluding. Given the enforcement difficulties that attend distinguishing between marijuana cultivated locally and marijuana grown elsewhere, 21 U.S.C. § 801(5), and concerns about diversion into illicit channels, we have no difficulty concluding that Congress had a rational basis for believing that failure to regulate the intrastate manufacture and possession of marijuana would leave a gaping hole in the CSA.

      The catch is that Congress never really had the authority to make the drug laws.

  • Cyndysub

    They are pissing against a strong wind and they are going to get wet.

  • Ron

    It’s sour grapes. Nebraska and Oklahoma see all the money that Colorado is raking in and they want some of it themselves, but don’t have los huevos to do the logical thing and legalize themselves. What a bunch of weasels.

    • G. Wilikers

      I agree. If Nebraska was serious about it’s “marijuana problem” they would sue Oklahoma, and/or Texas, and/or Mexico as vastly more pot comes into their state from the south than from the west. Further, they should sue the federalies for their open border policy between Texas and Mexico. Anymore, I doubt the pot shipments even slow down at the southern border. Beyond the envy of Colorado’s revenue increase, they’re acting like 12 year-old girls just wanting some attention. It’s hard to take legislators seriously when they are obviously on the drug cartels payroll.

  • Uncle Arthur

    I wish there was some way to sue Nebraska and Oklahoma for crimes against humanity. Send their governors and other public officials to that prison in the Netherlands where they join all the other international outlaws and war criminals. If that sounds hyperbolic, oh well. If the shoe fits these monsters, well….

    • David

      The Hague. Cheer’s !

  • Mi-Cree-Ni Quash-Mah

    this is very good more law enforcement officers will see what the failed importance of cannabis jurisdiction and legislation is and stop writing the citations or making the arrests.

  • Mi-Cree-Ni Quash-Mah

    it is sort of like the little signs posted on the fence around the sanitation pond ” no trespassing by federal law” no one pays attention because no one enforces the law unless your caught foundering in the sewage.

  • Doc Deadhead

    The haters will always hate even when it goes legal. The haters need to be labeled as such in the next elections so the people can eliminate them and their hating/prohibitionist asses from all political offices.

    From what I hear WE ARE THE MAJORITY! ….However…. by the results of the last elections we see that the MAJORITY sat on their butts and thought everyone else would do it for them. Had the MAJORITY actually showed up at the polls we would be looking at many different situations all across the country.

    One town in Michigan missed decriminalization by 7 votes……………….Really?

    That means that as little as 8 stoners could have changed the town had they put down the bong and got out to vote.

    Let’s start acting like we want to make a difference and ‘politically’ make changes toward country wide legalization.

    • PlugUgly

      Money wins 99% of the time…Look at FL.! You buy up all the advertising slots and push BS propaganda on the masses ,and buy all the tv networks, and the other half of voters are to busy fighting for food and can’t give a rats ass about this corrupt government…that’s how it works!

    • David

      We’re a “majority” when more than 1/3 of us vote in federal/state elections which is what occurred last November. Nothing like an angry minority being allowed to stuff their ignorant backward views down the majorities throats due to not giving a shit or laziness.

      • You don’t win 57.5% (Florida) with just your side. And how about the “ignorant backward” in Alaska?

        If you make this a partisan issue – you lose. Everyone who wants to help is welcome. And everyone else – our arms are open.

        • David

          I didn’t mention any political parties nor partisanship. .I only refer to what actually happened historically in last November’s elections. An angry minority imposed by fiat it’s views on the majority. Primarily due to non voter participation and/or laziness. Florida’s use of a 60 vote majority for passing state voter initiatives is in my opinion highly undemocratic. Although someone had to vote into office those who made such an moronic law possible.

  • Steven

    This might be a good thing. It will get the issue moving up the ladder to the feds. Maybe even widespread declassification and legalization nation wide, or help it. Certainly not going away with Brunning in Nebraska and police dept. going broke. Something will give.

    • David

      I’m not confident the Robert’s Supreme Court is cannabis friendly

      • But are they States Rights friendly? Republicans opposing ACA says they are.

    • Denny

      Oh good, we can surely rely on the feds to come through on their numerous promises to reclassify it…don’t hold your breath.

  • Nathaniel

    And thus the war between morally high ground laden states and the democratically coherent begin. What will become of this latest attempt to subdue the voices of the public?

    I would be willing to bet that the fine folks in Nebraska and Oklahoma that are supporting this endeavor have no idea how outnumbered they are. This surge of legalization is going to continue.
    If I had to put money on it, I would say this is politically motivated and nothing more. Attorney Generals like having their names in papers. This will sell a few issues for a couple of days. Maybe they needed to scare up a few more dollars for their upcoming reelection campaigns.

  • Jack Baker

    For me to fear driving through Nebraska or Okalahoma due to their profiling of vehicles with out-of-state license plates is a violation of my constitutional rights. I should not have to fear being stopped for a minor infraction (or, as many have reported in various comment sections and blogs, a made up infraction) and be held against my will while my vehicle is illegally searched, or be forced to wait for a drug dog to arrive and sniff my property. Freedom of unhindered travel has always been a defining right in the United States of America.

    • David

      I’ve read where Kansas and Nebraska border towns have increased the use of under-cover cops to prowl Colorado cannabis store parking lot’s, to take down customer licence plate number’s. Barney Fife did better police work than this.

      • HCV

        This was done in PA. When it came to Fireworks being sold to NYC plates. The NYPD would come up and spend weeks in Motel 6 (lol), Watch the cars load up, and a pleasant surprise was waiting as soon as you made an East River crossing. It is a very old tactic by LE.

  • James

    This was already settled in Gonzles v. Raich. The feds make their own statutes and the states set their own. With Nebraska being a decriminalized state, along with many other states, they cannot force Colorado to start recriminalizing too. The worst damage they could do (which I don’t believe they have a legal standing) is shut down state regulated stores that sell marijuana, taking tax dollars away from the state. All this would mean is that legal states would have to write their laws so that possession, cultivation, and distribution are decriminalized, rather than state sanctioned. This would go against the federal government’s intent of states creating regulated sales. No tax money for the states either.

  • Danny “Goonman” Hassenfaus

    Not sure what to make of this. Comes out of the blue. Where is the outrage in Wyoming? Idaho?
    Colorado plates are the new Ebola, apparently. What audacity! These guys are a throwback species. Cannabis has won. The free ride from Big Pharma, Tobacco, and the Court System is coming to an end and these Neanderthals in their monkey suits are fretful for their future. I agree with Uncle Arthur posted below. This has always been a human rights issue.

    • Snafu

      I have seen the cops doing frequent random stop and searches on I70 going into Kansas from Colorado. (I drive short haul for a local company between the 2 states) I have no doubt it is to draw revenue from tourists that forget to leave it at the border. I figure they are doing this to get everything out of prohibition they can before Kansas goes medical or legal. Then Oklahoma and Nebraska had better watch out, LOL.

  • David

    Colorado should sue Oklahoma and Nebraska because so many ignorant drunks from these two states drive stoned or drunk on Colorado roads and highways, possibly causing accident’s, injury or death to Colorado’s citizens. Colorado may have had to increase it’s law-enforcement expenditures as a result.

  • Jason Smith

    Will Idaho try the same tactics? Filing a law suit against it’s neighbors Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Canada could be another way for Butch Otter to use your tax dollars against you. Idaho profits from incarcerating it’s citizens. Butch Otter is J.R. Simplot’s grandson, Butch comes from a long line of farming family history. Approach him, invite him to visit a marijuana facility in Washington or Colorado, educate him. Find a common ground and build on that. Idaho needs to be able to produce quality medication on a continual basis, that is something we can all agree on.

  • Silverado

    Oh no….there’s only one solution to fix this. Nebraska and Oklahoma (Idaho too) MUST legalize cannabis in their states. Problem solved. Now, was’t that easy? The people in those states are more at risk from cops with a bad attitude about cannabis than from consumption of the plant itself. Reduced crime, safer drivers on the roads, more tax revenue for the local and state govts and as soon as we get rid of some of this “police deadwood” the whole tax savings thing becomes clearer and clearer while gaining more and more support from the people who really count in this cannabis freedom battle – the taxpayers. Isn’t that what’s really happened in Colorado since legalizing cannabis??

  • stellarvoyager

    The far-right wing ideology of those behind these lawsuits summed up perfectly in a facebook comment:

    “Don’t tread on me while I tread on you.”

    • But opposition by the Right to ACA says States Rights prevail. OK and NB are going against their own interests.

      The Federal Republic may be over because of these idiots. Serve ’em right.

  • Cyndysub

    Don’t worry people unless you like to worry.The tide Has changed on weed in the US and nothing can derail it. I am worry free and you should be also however worry if you must. Cheers and Good Tidings to all.

  • Cyndysub

    Any body can sue anyone for anything and this is just another frivalious lawsuit.