Neighboring States Nebraska, Oklahoma Sue Colorado Over Pot Legalization

Citing the increased costs of law enforcement at their borders with Colorado, two neighboring states — Nebraska and Oklahoma — are suing Colorado over pot legalization, the Denver Post is reporting.

Oklahoma — Colorado’s neighbor to the southeast — and Nebraska — Colorado’s neighbor to the northeast — have filed their suit directly with the Supreme Court, arguing that Colorado’s legalized marijuana industry violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

“The State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system. Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff States’ own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems.”

Despite pot being legal in Colorado, the neighboring states of Nebraska and Oklahoma continue to enforce marijuana prohibition. This means that residents of both states can make a short drive into Colorado and buy some pot to bring home, something that the Oklahoma Attorney General is not at all happy about, reports KFOR (Oklahoma City).

“Fundamentally, Oklahoma and states surrounding Colorado are being impacted by Colorado’s decision to legalize and promote the commercialization of marijuana which has injured Oklahoma’s ability to enforce our state’s policies against marijuana. Federal law classifies marijuana as an illegal drug. The health and safety risks posed by marijuana, especially to children and teens, are well documented. The illegal products being distributed in Colorado are being trafficked across state lines thereby injuring neighboring states like Oklahoma and Nebraska. As the state’s chief legal officer, the attorney general’s office is taking this step to protect the health and safety of Oklahomans.”

Meanwhile, over in Nebraska, state troopers are diligently trying to stop the flow of pot out of Colorado and into — and through — Nebraska. Perhaps a little too diligently: at least one driver — 69-year-old retiree Darien Roseen — has sued, claiming that Nebraska police profiled him for a search for pot based on his having Colorado license plates on his car, according to this Inquisitr report.


Colorado Attorney General John Suthers issued a statement, saying that he will defend Colorado’s pot legalization in court.

“Because neighboring states have expressed concern about Colorado-grown marijuana coming into their states, we are not entirely surprised by this action. However, it appears the plaintiffs’ primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana, as opposed to choices made by the voters of Colorado. We believe this suit is without merit and we will vigorously defend against it in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Do you believe that Oklahoma and Nebraska have a legitimate case against Colorado over pot legalization affecting their states? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image courtesy of Snow Brains]