Pubdate: Sat, 28 Mar 2015
Source: Herald, The (Everett, WA)
Copyright: 2015 The Daily Herald Co.
Note: Los Angeles Times


The top law enforcement officials in Washington and Colorado are 
urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a lawsuit from states that 
seek to strike down Colorado laws that legalize recreational marijuana use.

Oklahoma and Nebraska filed their suit directly with the Supreme 
Court, arguing that Colorado's move to legalize marijuana conflicts 
with federal drug regulations.

The Oklahoma and Nebraska attorneys general contend that easy access 
to marijuana has led to a surge in trafficking, with residents 
crossing into Colorado to purchase pot legally and sell it - 
illicitly - at home in Nebraska or Oklahoma. Kansas has also 
considered joining the suit.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a friend-of-the-court 
brief Friday asking the Supreme Court to dump Nebraska and Oklahoma's 
lawsuit, suggesting that it could also threaten laws in this state.

"I am disappointed that Nebraska and Oklahoma took this step to 
interfere with Colorado's popularly enacted initiative to legalize 
marijuana," he said. "I filed this brief to protect Washington's 
interests and the will of Washington's voters from interference by 
other states."

In a 49-page brief filed Friday, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia 
Coffman urged the nation's highest court to throw out the suit.

"My office remains committed to defending Colorado's law," Coffman 
said. "At the same time, I share our border states' concerns 
regarding illegal marijuana activity, and my office, as well as our 
partner state and local law enforcement agencies, are committed to 
stopping marijuana diversion. This lawsuit, however, even if 
successful, won't fix America's national drug policy."

In 2012 voters in Washington and Colorado approved measures to 
legalize marijuana use. Colorado's law allows for the sale and 
possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use for 
anyone 21 and older with a valid driver's license.

In their briefs, Hoffman and Ferguson argued that the Supreme Court 
should adhere to its long-standing policy of not settling policy 
disputes between the states.
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