In December, Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit that claimed Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana, enacted in 2012, was causing an increase in drug-related crimes in their states. The argument was predicated on the fact that marijuana is illegal under federal law.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court responded by filing a court order (CVSG) to request the administration’s views on the matter. The formal request, however, doesn’t mean the court is moving forward with the case – it only requires the Solicitor General to file a brief on behalf of the U.S. government. No deadline is set for the filing,
And while the Supreme Court has not decided whether it will accept the case, a recommendation from the Solicitor General can be persuasive. But as Attorney Mike Evans points out, it is by no means “binding.” Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman stated the suit seeks to leave “legalization intact,” while weakening the state’s ability to police state-run marijuana operations.
The CVSG now presents the Obama administration an opportunity to clearly state their position on state-level marijuana laws. While federal law takes precedence on such matters, it remains to be seen how the Obama administration and U.S. Supreme Court will react to the lawsuit.
Colorado has requested the court dismiss the lawsuit.