|Girl Scout Cookies grown in Colorado.|
Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a federal lawsuit against Colorado, urging the feds to shut down Colorado’s marijuana industry that they say is bleeding over into their state and costing their taxpayers millions.
Which would be valid if cops in those states weren’t bringing it on themselves by profiling Colorado drivers, pulling people over for made-up infractions and busting people for minor amounts that they probably wouldn’t have searched for in the past. Oh, and don’t think for a second that these cops – all of which are milking their department overtime pay for court appearances – mind the busts at all. Basically: they’ve brought the “problem” on themselves, are personally reaping financial benefit for it, and now want Colorado taxpayers to chip in to pay for their scam.
Over the last year officials in Nebraska have been the most vocal about Colorado’s pot laws, at times talking about getting Colorado pot tax money to help with their enforcement. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says that Colorado’s pot is giving Colorado millions of dollars while Nebraska has to “bear the cost” of the increased enforcement.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said that pot from Colorado has gained a repuation in his state for being strong and that law enforcement is seeing more and more of it within the state. He clearly has no idea that pot from Colorado, California and, yes, even Oklahoma has been smoked in his state for years now.
“Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff States’ own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems,” reads the lawsuit.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who isn’t the most pro-pot guy in the world, said he would defend Colorado’s constitution and the will of the voters. Even Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper called the move unusual and said that there were likely much better ways to approach the situation than suing his state.
“Because neighboring states have expressed concern about Colorado-grown marijuana coming into their states, we are not entirely surprised by this action,” Suthers said in a statement. “However, it appears the plaintiffs’ primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana, as opposed to choices made by the voters of Colorado.”
Several legal scholars have said the lawsuit has little merit and likely won’t go very far – notably because Congress can’t force anyone to criminalize marijuana nor can they force a state to enforce marijuana laws if the state decides that’s not a high priority for their tax dollars.
Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project and Amendment 64’s public face, said that Nebraska and Oklahoma need to butt out of Colorado’s business. Instead, maybe it’s time they reexamined their own state marijuana policies and see if they truly align with the will of their voters.
“It’s unfortunate the state of Nebraska is trying to dictate the laws here in Colorado,” Tvert said in a release.