Bad News? SCOTUS Marijuana Legalization Case Postponed On February 19

Maryam Louise

America has been anticipating a federal marijuana legalization decision by the Supreme Court that should have taken place on February 19, but there was a delay due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, according to the Sun Times.

However, although many investors and state officials are champing at the bit for the decision to be made and their futures to be decided, some say that the death of Judge Scalia could in fact mean that marijuana legalization will actually pass the Supreme Court and become legalized federally.

Alternatively, there are experts that feel the Supreme Court will pass on hearing the case and the decision may defer to President Obama to declassify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.

In the meantime, evidence mounts from scientific studies that marijuana is hardly the same as other Schedule 1 drugs and instead is now known to cure migraines, reduce obesity, and does not cause anxiety, depression, or lower IQ points.

In explaining the current marijuana vote previously scheduled by SCOTUS for February 19, International Business Times writes on February 17, that the case was originally filed "in December 2014 by the attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma" to "overturn Colorado's legalized marijuana program."

If the Supreme Court decides against the case, it will mean that marijuana laws across America will be invalidated and marijuana legalization will be shut down in every state.

Protesting this idea from the beginning, President Obama stated on January 17, that SCOTUS "should not even entertain a lawsuit raised by Oklahoma and Nebraska," according to

A decision against federal marijuana legalization could be potentially devastating to states that are benefiting from the healthy amount of taxes they receive from legalizing marijuana. For example, $5.4 billion in legal marijuana taxes were collected in 2015, according to the New York Times.

As an alternative, CATO points out on February 3, that if Obama signed an executive action declassifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, it would solve problems related to marijuana and the IRS, among others.

Other issues that could be solved by the SCOTUS decision to legalize marijuana pertains to confusion related to tribal lands and marijuana raids by the DEA, according to US News.

Sadly, many marijuana advocates feel like "Obama totally blew marijuana reform." The Week reported the following on February 18, about how Obama has avoided changing marijuana laws.

"Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) asked Obama if he would consider rescheduling marijuana during his final year in office. Obama's answer was 'disappointing,' Cohen reported. 'On marijuana, he gave the same answer as when I asked him seven years ago: 'If you get me a bill, and get it on my desk, I'll probably sign it.'"

Other positive outlooks on the future of 'no decision' being made by SCOTUS on marijuana legalization come from Esquire. They quote Sam Kamin, marijuana law professor at the University of Denver, and his doubts that SCOTUS will ever make a final decision about the marijuana legalization case.

Kamin explains that his reasons for believing that SCOTUS will avoid making a decision for or against marijuana legalization are that "The plaintiffs can't show they could be helped by a positive decision in their favor."

The Guardian supports this idea that SCOTUS will reject the marijuana legalization case with or without Justice Scalia and quoted Robert Mikos, Vanderbilt Law professor and an expert on federalism and drug law, who said "I don't think they're interested in taking this. None of them is particularly eager to sit as a trial judge."

Whether or not marijuana is legalized in America by SCOTUS, new 2016 studies guarantee that it is safe in almost every way.

For instance, The Telegraph stated on February 18, that a study of 35,000 people found that marijuana does not cause depression or anxiety according to a three-year study from Columbia University.

The Daily Mail wrote on January 15, that marijuana can reduce migraines "from 10.4 to 4.6 migraines each month" according to a University of Colorado study of 121 migraine patients.

Raw Story reported on January 14, that the Journal of Psychopharmacology published a report from the U.K. that found marijuana does not reduce IQ in teens.

Alternet pointed out on December 3, 2015 that a new study has found a link between decreased obesity rates and marijuana consumption.

[Picture by David McNew/Stringer/Getty Images]