In 2012 Colorado voters approved an initiative that legalized recreational marijuana in the state. Since that time, Colorado has become a favorite tourist attraction for travelers. That’s especially true after January 1, 2014 when legal recreational marijuana sales began. Sales have continued to climb steadily, with some temporary dips on a month-to-month basis, but overall growth has been very strong. A lot of jobs are being created, a lot of tax revenue is being generated, and above all, people aren’t having their lives ruined for personal marijuana possession and consumption.
But the success of legalization in Colorado has not come with its share of hurdles. One of the biggest ones came in the form of a multi-state federal lawsuit. Nebraska and Oklahoma filed the suit against Colorado essentially claiming that Colorado had a ‘marijuana problem.’ However, as activists were very quick to point out, Colorado doesn’t have a marijuana problem – Nebraska and Oklahoma have a prohibition problem. The case made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court level. The lawsuit was ripped apart by legal experts, but even with the vast majority of experts agreeing that the case was crap, there is always that lingering chance that something very, very lame could happen.
I’m very happy to report that earlier this morning a decision was announced, and the United States Supreme Court decided to dismiss the case. Per NBC:
The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to take up a lawsuit filed by two neighboring states of Colorado over its legalization of marijuana.
The court turned the case away in an unsigned opinion. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented. Writing for them both, Thomas said court should have taken the case because “the plaintiff states have made a reasonable case.”
Tom Angell from the Marijuana Majority, who was on this thing from start to finish, had the following to say about the dismissal:
“There’s no question about it: This is good news for legalization supporters. This case, if it went forward and the Court ruled the wrong way, had the potential to roll back many of the gains our movement has achieved to date. And the notion of the Supreme Court standing in the way could have cast a dark shadow on the marijuana ballot measures voters will consider this November. But the justices correctly decided that this lawsuit is without merit and that states should be able to move forward with implementing voter-approved legalization laws even if their neighbors don’t like it. At the end of the day, if officials in Nebraska and Oklahoma are upset about how much time and resources their police are spending on marijuana cases, as they said in their briefs, they should join Colorado in replacing prohibition with legalization. That will allow their criminal justice systems to focus on real crime, and it will generate revenue that can be used to pay for healthcare, education and public safety programs.”