Appeals Court Hears Challenge to CO Recreational Pot

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A bid to stamp out Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry is scheduled to go before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit today, reports the Denver Post. The court will hear oral arguments in a case arguing that Colorado’s recreational cannabis laws fly in the face of federal controlled substances and racketeering laws. The case, a consolidation of appeals backed by national anti-legalization groups, was joined last year by the Nebraska and Oklahoma, which were coming off a loss after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their case. The two argued neighboring Colorado violated the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause and “created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system.”

The states’ anti-legalization effort dates from 2014, when Colorado was nearly one year into a first-of-a-kind effort to regulate the sales of cannabis for adult use. The states argued that Colorado’s allowance of legal marijuana sales caused negative spillover effects across its border and that they had to shell out more money because of a spike in arrests, vehicle impoundments, drug seizures, and prisoner transfers. “This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state,” said Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning at the time. “While Colorado reaps millions from the production and sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost.”


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