How Lawsuit Could Mean the End of Legal Marijuana

marijuanaThe subject of legal marijuana is a highly controversial one, and many states continue to wrestle with the idea of legalizing it either for medical or recreational use, or even both. An unfortunate part of this battle is the fact that many of the truths about marijuana are being swayed, either one way or the other, in order to try and prove a point and enforce a specific view. For example, individuals who are against marijuana may not only discuss the true dangers of this drug, but may also choose to inflate some of these dangers in order to effectively make the drug seem even more deadly and destructive than it is. Individuals who are supportive of marijuana use, either for medical or recreational reasons, may choose to downplay the true dangers of the drug in order to make it seem more acceptable and safe, and they may point out that marijuana use can be highly helpful to individuals who are suffering from certain painful diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes or cancer. However, regardless of any specific individual’s view on the subject, the fact remains that marijuana is a drug substance that has the potential to create damaging effects in consumers, and a new lawsuit could effectively bring to an end the legal use of marijuana, in every state in the country, for any reason.

A Possible End of Legal Marijuana

A press release this week in the Associated Press indicates that the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit with the United States Supreme Court against the state of Colorado. The lawsuit requests that the Supreme Court invalidate Colorado state’s law that allows recreational marijuana use, effectively making it illegal to consume this drug substance. Aaron Cooper, the spokesman for Oklahoma’s Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said that the primary point of Colorado’s marijuana legalization law that is being challenged is the point that allows individuals to grow and sell marijuana. This allowance has created a surge of illegal drug production that has then flowed into Oklahoma, Nebraska and other neighboring states.

Colorado points out that if the Supreme Court moves to repeal recreational marijuana laws in that or any other state, they will also have to ban marijuana use in any form, since the Controlled Substances Act labels it as a Schedule I, illegal drug substance. This means that twenty-three states would suddenly find their own marijuana legalization laws null and void, including the laws that legalize medical marijuana use.

Colorado’s response to the lawsuit is that neighboring states should, rather than sue them for their own marijuana legalization laws, sue the federal government for their failure to enforce the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana production, sale and use is still illegal on a federal level, but the federal government has been allowing individual states to enact and enforce their own laws without stepping in. Colorado’s filing indicates that Congress has made it clear that it is supportive of each state’s own regulatory and licensure laws, and a ruling favorable to Nebraska and Oklahoma could upset this decision and lead to extensive ramifications that affect marijuana production, sale and use across the entire country.

How Will it End?

Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, it nonetheless points out the continued controversy regarding marijuana use and legalization. Clearly, there is a vast difference in opinion regarding the benefits and drawbacks of marijuana use among neighboring states, and with the federal government labeling all marijuana production, sale and use illegal but failing to enforce it across the country, it becomes difficult to determine what action can be taken in cases such as this.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!
Icon Icon Icon