The state's top legal official is formally urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a lawsuit by Nebraska and Oklahoma that challenges Colorado’s marijuana laws, saying it could threaten Washington state's own fledgling system for regulating pot.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson made his arguments in a “friend of the court” brief filed on Friday.
and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit with the high court in December, claiming
that Colorado’s Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana under state law is
preempted by federal drug laws. They ask the court to hear the case
under its “original jurisdiction” over lawsuits between states.
Washington state’s legal brief urges the court to reject that request.
am disappointed that Nebraska and Oklahoma took this step to interfere
with Colorado’s popularly enacted initiative to legalize marijuana,”
Ferguson said. “I filed this brief to protect Washington’s interests and
the will of Washington’s voters from interference by other states.
the Supreme Court takes the unfortunate step of agreeing to hear this
case, it will threaten every state’s ability to make its own decisions
about how best to regulate marijuana, whether for medical or
recreational purposes,” he added.
The lawsuit by Oklahoma and
Nebraska officials claims that marijuana purchased in Colorado is being
brought into neighboring states where it remains illegal.
contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state," Nebraska
Attorney General Jon Bruning said. "While Colorado reaps millions from
the sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost."
law enforcement agencies in western Nebraska, along the Colorado border,
have complained that marijuana from the neighboring state has drained
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says
Colorado's legalization of pot has hindered his state's efforts to
enforce its anti-marijuana laws. Pruitt said marijuana poses health and
safety risks to children and teens.
But the brief filed by
Washington state argues that the Supreme Court should not take up the
lawsuit based on its own longstanding policies regarding disputes
Ferguson argues that the lawsuit does not
involve Oklahoma's or Nebraska's "sovereign interests," but is a simple
policy dispute over how best to regulate marijuana and therefore not an
issue for the Supreme Court.
Ferguson also argues that the lawsuit should be heard first in a lower court.
venue would allow the states to resolve their dispute without
immediately impacting other jurisdictions around the country the way a
U.S. Supreme Court decision could," Ferguson said in a prepared
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer
is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes
mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum –
reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal
with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited
for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer
as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause
havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with
DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a
seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.