Supreme Court Turns Back Challenge To Marijuana Legalization Laws

Washington, DC: Supreme Court justices have declined to consider a 2014 suit challenging the legality of Colorado’s laws permitting the state-licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults.

Justices rejected the lawsuit, filed by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt, which sought to strike down Colorado’s law on the basis that it is “fundamentally at odds” with the federal Controlled Substances Act. The state Attorney Generals had argued, “The diversion of marijuana from Colorado contradicts the clear Congressional intent, frustrates the federal interest in eliminating commercial transactions in the interstate controlled-substances market, and is particularly burdensome for neighboring states like Plaintiff States where law enforcement agencies and the citizens have endured the substantial expansion of Colorado marijuana.” A majority of the Court turned back the petition in an unsigned opinion, while Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

The plaintiffs in the suit are contemplating filing a similar legal challenge in federal district court.

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.