Colorado sued over marijuana legalization, Its neighbors, Oklahoma and Nebraska, filed a lawsuit stating Colorado is costing their states money and resources.
Nebraska and Oklahoma’s complaint argues that Colorado does not have authority to pass laws that conflict with the federal prohibition on marijuana. Doing so, the states claim, violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced Thursday that the states are seeking a court order to prevent Colorado from enforcing a measure that was approved by voters in 2012. Bruning says Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is also a party to the lawsuit.
The complaint alleges that Colorado’s Amendment 64 runs afoul of federal law. “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,” the lawsuit alleges.
The police chief in Sydney, Neb., said this year that half of his department’s traffic stops now result in a marijuana arrest. He said the department burned through its yearly overtime budget in six months, mostly paying officers overtime to go to court to testify in marijuana prosecutions.
“Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost,” Bruning said at a news conference Thursday.
Washington state also has legalized marijuana, but Bruning says Nebraska isn’t suing over that law because it doesn’t share a border with Washington.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers says in a statement that the lawsuit is without merit. He says his office will vigorously defend the marijuana law in the U.S. Supreme Court.