A bid to stamp out Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry is scheduled to go before a federal appeals court Tuesday morning.
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver will hear oral arguments in an appeals case that claims Colorado’s recreational cannabis laws fly in the face of federal controlled substances and racketeering laws.
The case, a consolidation of separate appeals backed by national anti-legalization groups, was joined last year by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, which were coming off a loss after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the states’ case. The two argued neighboring Colorado violated the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause and “created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system.”
“Nowhere is an implied public right of action for a state more important than in cases such as this, where states seek to preserve the union of federal law from departures by other states,” the attorneys general for Nebraska and Oklahoma asserted last April in their joiner to the appeals case.
The states’ anti-legalization effort stretches back to December 2014, when Colorado was nearly one year into a first-of-a-kind effort to regulate the sales of cannabis for adult use.
The states argued that Colorado’s allowance of legal marijuana sales caused negative spillover effects across its border and that they had to shell out more money because of a spike in arrests, vehicle impoundments, drug seizures and prisoner transfers.
“This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state,” Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said at the time, according to a report in the Omaha World-Herald. “While Colorado reaps millions from the production and sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost.”
In the months that followed, Colorado’s marijuana laws were the target of several other suits, including disputes by county sheriffs, Pueblo County horse ranchers and a hotel owner in the mountain town of Frisco. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, state officials and county governments were named in the suits as defendants alongside marijuana businesses.
Those complaints and the Nebraska-Oklahoma suit were eventually struck down.
The cases involving the Pueblo horse ranchers and the county sheriffs advanced to appellate court; the suit by the hotel owner was dismissed after a settlement.
Original Article via TheCannabist