States' challenge to Colorado pot law rejected

Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 13:40:17-04

The Supreme Court has rejected an effort by Nebraska and Oklahoma to have Colorado's pot legalization declared unconstitutional.

The justices are not commenting Monday in dismissing the lawsuit the states filed directly at the Supreme Court against their neighbor.

They argued that Colorado's law allowing recreational marijuana use by adults runs afoul of federal anti-drug laws. The states also said that legalized pot in Colorado is spilling across the borders into Nebraska and Oklahoma, complicating their anti-drug efforts and draining state resources.

The Obama administration had sided with Colorado, despite the administration's opposition to making marijuana use legal.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would have heard the states' lawsuit.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson issued the following statement:

"We are disappointed by the Court’s procedural decision to not hear this case at the present time. However, as both Justices Thomas and Alito recognized, the majority’s decision is clearly not a substantive decision on the merits of our claims.

'Today, the Supreme Court has not held that Colorado’s unconstitutional facilitation of marijuana industrialization is legal,” said Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, “and the Court’s decision does not bar additional challenges to Colorado’s scheme in federal district court.'

At this time the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office is working with its partners in Oklahoma and other states to determine the best next steps toward vindicating the rule of law."