Oklahoma Attorney General seeks to sue Colorado over marijuana laws

By Mark Iandolo | Dec 31, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has announced that he will continue his pursuit of suing Colorado over its marijuana laws by bringing the issues to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Even with strong opposition from Obama’s administration, Pruitt plans to counter their arguments that Oklahoma and Nebraska have not been directly negatively impacted by Colorado’s regulations on marijuana. Pruitt’s spokesperson said that written arguments would be filed next month.

This case initially developed a year ago when Oklahoma and Nebraska asked the court’s permission to sue Colorado. The states claim Colorado laws, which make legal the manufacture, possession and distribution of marijuana, violate the federal Controlled Substance Act. The states believe this has led to more illegal drugs crossing into their states.

In May, the Supreme Court asked for the opinion of the Obama administration.

“This case does not satisfy the direct injury requirement,” an administration brief stated. “Nebraska and Oklahoma essentially contend that Colorado's authorization of licensed intrastate marijuana production and distribution increases the likelihood that third parties will commit criminal offenses in Nebraska and Oklahoma by bringing marijuana purchased from licensed entities in Colorado into those states.

“But they do not allege that Colorado had directed or authorized any individual to transport marijuana into their territories in violation of their laws” the brief further stated. “Nor would any such allegation be plausible.”

Pruitt disagrees and will continue to press the Supreme Court, which may decide in the coming months if the case can be heard.

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