A March 21 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the multi-billion-dollar cannabis industry of a recent legal hurdle. The High Court declined a case filed by the States of Nebraska and Oklahoma which disagree with Colorado’s controlled selling of cannabis for recreational purposes.
States near Colorado fear that the freedom to sell cannabis and its ownership beyond the legal limit will create consequences that will be a threat to the safety of their people and society in general. Aside from its danger, both are considered a federal offense. In fact, the anti-cannabis states argue that the availability of marijuana in stores for ages 21 and above has resulted in inter-border lawlessness.
Since the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
In defense, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said that ever since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, Colorado has worked painstakingly to have a regulatory framework which is considered the first of its kind in the world allowing the cannabis industry to function without overlooking the protection of public safety. Hickenlooper was satisfied with the ruling and believes what they started and founded will remain firm as an industry.
It is also clear that the Obama administration has provided these states with a spacious margin when it comes to the regulation of cannabis within their boundary while rules and limits remain intact. The 6 – 2 vote result in the nation’s highest court proves such leeway and it is safe to assume that future Presidents will likely not attempt to interfere with these new state laws legalizing recreational marijuana.
Such good news brought exhilaration to the members of the Marijuana Majority lead by their chairman, Tom Angell. He said that if the case had gone any further and the court ruled the other way, then all the gains and advantages the cannabis legalization brought will be gone and will badly affect the consideration of voters for the marijuana ballot measures in November.
Cannabis complaints from other States
Disappointment arising from the complaining states was expected. Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma stated that as long as cannabis continues to operate in Oklahoma, it is still an obvious violation of the federal and state policy. Colorado must stand up for what is right and hinder the availability of marijuana beyond its border. He further suggested that the Obama administration should be vigilant in enforcing federal law and must execute the Controlled Substances Act. If no such act will be promulgated then Pruitt concluded that their state will continue to take advantage of any state law enforcement options there are, to make sure that the distribution of illegal drugs end.
Nebraska and Oklahoma will not surrender to Colorado Law
Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman from Colorado may have joined the triumph on the case dismissal, but she is also aware that Nebraska and Oklahoma will not just surrender their attempts at combating Colorado law based upon this one favorable Supreme Court ruling. .
“Although we’ve had victories in several federal lawsuits over the last month, the legal questions surrounding Amendment 64 still require stronger leadership from Washington,” Coffman said in the statement.
Because the matter involves a dispute between states, it was filed directly to the U. S. Supreme Court. The first step in the lawsuit was for the justices to decide whether they even wanted to consider it. When the Supreme Court does accept such cases, the subsequent litigation can go on for years or even decades.
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said he was disappointed, but that he is working with partners in Oklahoma “and other states” to figure out their next steps “toward vindicating the rule of law,” according to a statement.
If you are in need of legal advice or representation for issues pertaining to cannabis, contact Cambareri & Brenneck for a free legal consultation.