A “Hail Mary” Pass by our Political Opponents

For those of us in the business of changing public policy, sometimes we judge our progress on what we have accomplished; and other times we judge our effectiveness by the desperate acts of our opponents. The federal law suit filed late last week by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, seeking a declaratory judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court holding Colorado’s legalization provisions to be unconstitutional, clearly falls in the latter category.

This suit is more political theater than a serious legal challenge. These two conservative state attorneys general know they are losing this fight in the court of public opinion, so they are hoping the Supreme Court will step in and overturn the will of the voters. Desperate times lead to desperate tactics, and the plaintiffs in this action were clearly feeling desperate.

To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com

59 thoughts

  1. Wasting public funds following an ignorant and disrespectful perspective on patient rights and personal choices is not new nor is it effective. Prohibition never works in an open society because it causes curiosity and deeper analysis. Education with the truth will shed light on corrupt manipulation of psudo-science and leo domination.

  2. Billy says:
    December 30, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Colorado doesn’t have to enforce Federal law. That has been settled law for the history of the country.

  3. Point taken Billy. However to say that the supremacy clause trumps the constitution is like saying that the supremacy clause nullifies the rest of the constitution including the tenth ammendment. If that were true, then the constitution (save the supremacy clause) might as well not even exist.

    Even the whopping 48 page complaint tha Nebraska’s AG drafted aknoledges that the federal government cannot dictate state law. It’s argument is the legalized retail market in Colorado.

    Even if SCOTUS agrees to hear the case, When one state sues another at SCOTUS, A master judge must be appointed by the justices to conduct the hearing (just like a civil trial.) The justices then become the jury. Then both sides get to file all kinds of motions, call whitnesses and ask for continuences. In other words, it could drag out for over a decade.

  4. I love how my AG is crying foul of their inability to fight the massive influx of marijuana products crossing our state line, saying Colorado should be responsible, yet we have no problem pushing ads for alcohol into Colorado’s dry counties to coax them over and “break the law”.

  5. I agree, the supremacy clause is not the ultimate end-all be-all to legal matters such as these and in an ideal world the 10th amendment would be respected. However, the history of the SCOTUS has favored the supremacy clause and the powers of the Federal government in spite of the 10th amendment. The problem that lies at the root of it all is the growth of an expansive, centralized government in Washington. This case could take years and by that point we may have seen a repeal of the Congressional prohibition on marijuana, but until then this is the trickiest challenge to “legalization” yet. The Constitution as it is written is on the states side, but as it is interpreted is on the Feds side. My ultimate point is that if Congress prohibits something, the integrity of the government is eroded by passively allowing states to ignore the laws they have put in place.

  6. I believe the majority vote by TAX PAYING CITIZENS OF CÔ pasted the law legalizing marijuana. And no one has the right to question or over ride their vote for any reason. Specially from ANOTHER state. ITS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!!!!!!!! THE TAXPAYERS SHOULD HAVE THE FIRST AND LAST VOTE!!!!!!!!

  7. So if this wins in the Supreme Court, utilizing the Supremacy Clause, doesn’t the US Dept of Justice force ALL states (WA, CO, OR, & my state AK) to dismantle marijuana programs? Specifically, recreational mj programs that have no congressional protection? If the case wins, I believe all 4 state programs will be deemed illegal under Federal law??

  8. What I think is that SCOTUS may send this back to Nebraska asking the A.G. to narrow the scope of the complaint. Especially since it is so broad. The SCOTUS docket is very full, and since they have essentially refused to hear any gay marriage cases this term, it id doubtful that this complaint, as filed, will be granted a hearing this term.

    Since Reid v Covert has not officially ben overturned by SCOTUS, they are not likely to do it now. That precedent is where I get my legal logic from.

    Good day all.

  9. @Raven
    Check out MPP’s blog: Top Republicans in Oklahoma are trying to convince their AG to back down. The threat to state’s rights and the foundation of what it means to be Republican is at stake here. A Republican suing on the grounds that Federal law trumps state law? This is a lose-lose situation for Republicans anyway you look at it. My bet is politics trumps this law suit right out of court.

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