Colorado responds

Colorado has responded to the Supreme court complaint by Nebraska and Oklahoma with this brief.

I think it’s extremely well-written and well-argued, pointing out the absurdity of the claims by the other states.

Here’s a taste:

The Complaint, however, does not challenge marijuana legalization as a general matter. For example, the Plaintiff States do not object to Colorado’s legalization and regulation of medical marijuana, although medical marijuana makes up over half of the State’s $700 million marijuana industry and, like recreational marijuana, is also vulnerable to out-of-state diversion. See Raich, 545 U.S. at 31–32. And the Plaintiff States disclaim any argument that a State can be forced “to criminalize marijuana.” […]

The Complaint instead asks the Court to strike down only those laws that empower Colorado to authorize, monitor, and regulate recreational marijuana businesses. Compl. at 28–29. In other words, if Plaintiffs’ requested relief is granted, recreational marijuana would remain legal, but Colorado would lose the ability to monitor and regulate its retail supply and distribution.

Interesting little dig in the statement from the Attorney General in conjunction with the brief… “This lawsuit, however, even if successful, won’t fix America’s national drug policy—at least not without leadership from Washington, D.C., which remains noticeably absent.”

[Thanks, Tom]
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15 Responses to Colorado responds

  1. primus says:

    As I understand it, this hearing is to decide whether the case will be heard by the Supremes. I have money to wager that the Supremes decline to touch this malodourous heap of dung.

  2. Duncan20903 says:


    Holy cow, not only is Colorado defending their Constitution but the respective Attorneys General of Oregon and Washington filed amicus briefs. It’s no surprise to me that Alaska didn’t.

    I’m having an extremely bad case of cognitive dissonance at the moment.

  3. claygooding says:

    The DOJ explained why they did not shut down the legal markets to the Judicial Committee in March or April of last year,,giving the very same reason CO just did,,they could close the market but they cannot overturn legalization..especially on a vote by the citizens,,the citizens of CO,WA,AK,OR and DC have voted out the SCT when they voted in legalized marijuana.

    Closing down the legal markets just leaves the criminals and green market growers competing for the market dollars which would increase the trafficking through the whining states even more than the legal weed has.

    I consider American citizens growing marijuana and selling it too be the “green market” because at least their profits stay in this country stimulating our country’s economy instead of elsewhere.,,as long as they do not resort too violence.

    I am still waiting to see why stopping CO pot costs more than stopping CAN or MEX weed,,the stopping of CO marijuana would just leave a bigger share too the cartels,,and if I had that much marijuana flooding my state,,I would consider legalization and taxes to keep my pothead citizen’s money within my state.

    And I did not touch on the Native Americans possibly opening MMJ and/or recreational shops in their states.

    • Tony Aroma says:

      “I am still waiting to see why stopping CO pot costs more than stopping CAN or MEX weed

      As far as I’m concerned, the amount is irrelevant. It’s the reason that people should be talking about. The plaintiffs are admitting that they are diverting their limited law enforcement resources away from solving violent crimes to sitting at the border profiling cars looking for a few bags of weed. Is that really the way the taxpayers in those states want their law enforcement tax dollars spent? If I was an elected official, I’d be pretty embarrassed if I had to admit that I was pulling money from murder and rape investigations to try to catch more pot smokers from CO.

      • claygooding says:

        I see your point on the wasted manpower chasing a puff of smoke,,hoping for a big bust that will bring funding to their agency so they can buy their very own APC with a 50 cal mounted on the top,,for that one guy that refuses to pay a parking ticket.

        I was angling towards the cops are already out there looking for traffickers anyway so why should CO help pay their law enforcement costs for doing their jobs.

  4. Tony Aroma says:

    I’ve said it before, and this brief confirms it: This case is a win-win for those opposed to prohibition. Or rather, a lose-lose for the plaintiffs. If they win, mj is legal and unregulated, and if they lose, mj is legal and regulated. Actually a win might be even more beneficial to the legalization side, as it would probably force the fed’s hand. With legal, unregulated mj freely available, the feds might just have to reschedule and come up with a federal regulatory system. I’m rooting for the plaintiffs in this one. I think their rallying cry should be “free the weed.”

  5. kaptinemo says:

    The Supremes won’t touch it because it will require overturning Raich, which threatens Wickard, which provided the ‘justification’ for the Federal overstepping of Constitutional limitations…creating the huge Fed bureaucracies we have today.

    Knock the foundation out from under The (hugely bloated and powerful) State they so fervently serve? I doubt it…

  6. Frank W. says:

    “…without leadership from Washington, D.C., which remains noticeably absent.”
    To me this was the real stinger of that statement.

  7. Mr_Alex says:

    I hope the Prohibitionists lose

  8. joe minella says:

    Colorado should sue THEM for creating the illegal market that sends the criminals to Colorado.

  9. allan says:

    OT… hat tip to Windy for this, for you veterans (and anyone else that gives a whit):
    That Which I Love Destroys Me

    the full version is only available for 2 days

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