Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (Sue Ogrocki, The Associated Press)

Oklahoma AG to keep pursuing marijuana lawsuit against Colorado

A spokesman for Attorney General Scott Pruitt says written arguments will be filed in January

WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has said that he plans to continue to press the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his state’s case in a lawsuit versus Colorado over its marijuana laws, despite objection from President Obama’s administration.

Oklahoma and Nebraska asked for the court’s permission a year ago to sue Colorado over aspects of its marijuana legalization plan. A spokesman for Pruitt said that written arguments will be filed next month.

Oklahoma and Nebraska say that Colorado laws allowing the manufacture, possession and distribution of marijuana violate the federal Controlled Substances Act and have led to more illegal drugs crossing state lines.

The two states say that the actions taken by Colorado have hindered their efforts to enforce anti-marijuana laws in their states.

The Oklahoman reported that the Supreme Court asked for the Obama administration’s opinion in May. The administration urged the Supreme Court to reject the lawsuit from Oklahoma and Nebraska. In a brief filed last week, the solicitor general argued that the U.S. Supreme Court typically limits state conflicts to ones where there is direct injury.

“This case does not satisfy the direct injury requirement,” the administration’s brief states.

Pruitt says that “states aren’t required to criminalize marijuana or enforce federal law. That is not what Oklahoma’s lawsuit is about. The Obama administration has turned a blind eye, emboldening states like Colorado to set up systems that encourage the commercialization and trafficking of a substance illegal under federal law.”


Information from: The Oklahoman