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I presume others have seen the WSJ editorial regarding the recent suit by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. This led me to read a copy of the states’ brief seeking leave to file the case in the Supreme Court. (The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over disputes between states, but the complaining states have to establish that they’re entitled to jump over the lower courts). To summarize the states’ argument:
- The Controlled Substances Act (the CSA), a federal law, makes it a criminal offense to manufacture, distribute, or possess a schedule I controlled substance, which includes marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols;
- Colorado’s constitution and laws have established a regulated industry for the manufacture and distribution of pot;
- The Obama Administration has elected not to enforce the CSA in Colorado or other states that have legalized pot;
- Nebraska and Oklahoma still prohibit pot, and the availability of pot in Colorado has made it more difficult and expensive for them to enforce their bans.
- The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution provides that “the Laws of the United States … shall be the supreme Law of the Land …, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
- Under the Supremacy Clause, Colorado should be enjoined from implementing the provisions of its constitution that would legalize and regulate the manufacture and sale of pot.
The editorial concludes: