U.S.: DOJ Asks Supreme Court To Dismiss Suit Against Colorado Marijuana Legalization

SolicitorGeneralDonaldVerrilli[RWULaw]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. Solicitor General, on behalf of the federal Department of Justice, on Wednesday filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit that the neighboring states of Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado's marijuana legalization law.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., in the brief, argues that the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) "does not preempt a 'State law on the same subject matter' as the CSA's control and enforcement provisions 'unless there is a positive conflict' between federal and state law 'so that the two cannot consistently stand together.'

"Here, for example, it is conceivable that the Court could conclude that whether Colorado's scheme creates a 'positive conflict' with the CSA ultimately turns on, among other factors, the practical efficacy of Colorado's regulatory system in preventing or deterring interstate marijuana trafficking," the Solicitor General -- whose duty it is to represent the federal government before the Supreme Court -- wrote.

“This is the right move by the Obama administration," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "Colorado and a growing number of states have decided to move away from decades of failed prohibition laws, and so far things seem to be working out as planned.

"Legalization generates tax revenue, creates jobs and takes the market out of the hands of drug cartels and gangs," Angell said. "New federal data released this week shows that as more legalization laws come online, we’re not seeing an increase in teen marijuana use, despite our opponents’ scare tactics.

"The Justice Department is correct here: This lawsuit is without merit and should be dismissed," Angell said.