Pubdate: Thu, 17 Dec 2015
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2015 The Associated Press
Author: Sam Hananel, The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite its opposition to making marijuana use 
legal, the Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to reject 
a lawsuit from Nebraska and Oklahoma that seeks to declare Colorado's 
pot legalization unconstitutional.

The Justice Department's top courtroom lawyer said in a brief filed 
Wednesday that the interstate dispute over a measure approved by 
Colorado voters in 2012 does not belong at the high court.

Nebraska and Oklahoma filed their lawsuit directly with the Supreme 
Court in December 2014, arguing that Colorado's law allowing 
recreational-marijuana use by adults runs afoul of federal anti-drug 
laws. States can sue each other in the Supreme Court, a rare instance 
in which the justices are not hearing appeals of lowercourt rulings.

The two states complained that Colorado's action has hindered efforts 
to enforce anti-marijuana laws in their states. They say combating 
marijuana that's coming across the border is a drain on their resources.

The Obama administration "steadfastly opposes legalization of 
marijuana," the White House says on its website. But the 
administration also has said that it would not stand in the way of 
states that want to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana as long as 
there are effective controls to keep marijuana away from kids, the 
black market and federal property.

The Drug Policy Alliance, a group that advocates for less-restrictive 
drug laws, praised the move.
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