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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization Laws

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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization Laws

April 19, 2016

The US Supreme Court recently declined to hear a case that would have challenged the legality of the law allowing for recreational marijuana use in Colorado.

The plaintiffs in the case were Nebraska and Oklahoma, with officials from both states looking to invalidate Colorado’s marijuana legalization laws because, they claim, marijuana is flowing into Colorado’s neighboring states. Nebraska and Oklahoma lawmakers blame the Colorado marijuana laws for causing this overflow of drugs across state borders – and into states where marijuana remains illegal. This has reportedly led to an increase in criminal activity and a subsequent strain on law enforcement resources in Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The plaintiffs in the case specifically argued that Colorado’s laws were invalid because they conflicted with federal laws, codified in the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA), that make the possession of marijuana illegal nationwide.

Now the US Supreme Court has tacitly upheld Colorado’s marijuana legalization laws by declining to hear the challenge from Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Court voted by a 6-2 majority to not hear the case, therefore allowing the lower court rulings supporting to the state laws to stand.

Despite the Court’s decision not to hear the case, opponents of marijuana legalization are still gearing up for a fight in the courts as they push for officials to enforce federal laws that prohibit the possession of marijuana. It is expected that more challenges will be brought against Colorado’s marijuana laws, possibly in U.S. District Court, as Nebraska and Oklahoma officials look to determine the next course of action.

To learn more about the recent Supreme Court ruling, view the Washington Post article, “What Today’s Supreme Court Decision Means for the Future of Legal Weed.”


If you or a loved one has been arrested for simple possession of marijuana, prescription drug possession or any other drug crime in New Jersey, the aggressive criminal defense attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC can help you fight the charges. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.

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