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Feds Ask Supreme Court to Stay out of Colorado Recreational Cannabis Lawsuit

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Oklahoma and Nebraska have been trying to sue the state of Colorado in the Supreme Court for allowing recreational cannabis sales for some time. The Federal Government has now asked the Supreme Court to dismiss this lawsuit and avoid getting embroiled in a conflict of this magnitude.

The suit claims Oklahoma and Nebraska residents are purchasing cannabis in Colorado and then illegally crossing state borders with the product. The Supreme Court wanted a second opinion on whether or not they should tackle this issue, and asked the Federal Government for help.

“Entertaining the type of dispute at issue here — essentially that one state’s laws make it more likely that third parties will violate federal and state law in another state — would represent a substantial and unwarranted expansion of this court’s original jurisdiction,” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. wrote in an official response about the case filed Wednesday, according to USA Today.

Verrilli also added that the Supreme Court usually only gets involved in affairs like this if two states are suing each other. Because these two states are suing a third that does not wish to be involved in a case, it is not likely to go to trial. Also, it is already illegal to bring cannabis outside state lines and anyone breaking this law would be tried as a criminal, so not exporting cannabis is already being enforced.

“Nebraska and Oklahoma essentially contend that Colorado’s authorization of licensed intrastate marijuana production and distribution increases the likelihood that third parties will commit criminal offenses in Nebraska and Oklahoma by bringing marijuana purchased from licensed entities in Colorado into those states,” Verrelli wrote in his statement. “But they do not allege that Colorado has directed or authorized any individual to transport marijuana into their territories in violation of their laws. Nor would any such allegation be plausible.”

As such, it is likely that Colorado will not be taken to trial in the Supreme Court. However, if this case does make it before the Justices, this hesitation in seeing the case is a good indication that Colorado will come out on top.

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