The Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to Colorado's recreational cannabis law from neighboring states:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lawsuit filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma against their neighbor Colorado over a law approved as a ballot initiative by Colorado voters in 2012 that allows the recreational use of marijuana. The court declined to hear the case filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma, which said that marijuana is being smuggled across their borders and noted that federal law still prohibits the drug. Two conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, said they would have heard the case.Nebraska and Oklahoma contended that drugs such as marijuana threaten the health and safety of children and argued that Colorado had created "a dangerous gap" in the federal drug control system. Colorado stands by its law. It noted that the Obama administration has indicated the federal government lacks the resources and inclination to enforce fully the federal marijuana ban.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lawsuit filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma against their neighbor Colorado over a law approved as a ballot initiative by Colorado voters in 2012 that allows the recreational use of marijuana. The court declined to hear the case filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma, which said that marijuana is being smuggled across their borders and noted that federal law still prohibits the drug. Two conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, said they would have heard the case.
Nebraska and Oklahoma contended that drugs such as marijuana threaten the health and safety of children and argued that Colorado had created "a dangerous gap" in the federal drug control system. Colorado stands by its law. It noted that the Obama administration has indicated the federal government lacks the resources and inclination to enforce fully the federal marijuana ban.
Also at The Washington Post, NYT.
See the Plaintiffs' brief, and Colorado's brief in opposition.
Because people shouldn't have the right to tell other people what to do, states shouldn't have the right to tell other states what to do. This has been increasingly forgotten in modern times. It's refreshing to see that Nebraskans and Oklahomans won't get the right to tell Coloradoans what to do here.
Think it was more of a technicality that they declined it. They were trying to cut out everything that happens before the SC and they said as much. I doubt it is over yet.
Seconded. I have no idea what Nebraska and Oklahoma were expecting the SC to do. If they're having problems with trafficking then perhaps they should set up border checkpoints and explain to their taxpayers why keeping a silly, harmless crop out of their states justifies the expense of those checkpoints. I could see the SC justifying such checkpoints with the interstate commerce clause even if I don't think that's right myself.
I'm really hoping that the next president won't have the gall to begin enforcement of federal prohibition again. I could see Cruz doing that, but there's no way in hell, even if he gets the Republican nomination, that he'd win in the general election against Clinton (or Sanders).
If they're having problems with trafficking then perhaps they should set up border checkpoints
That would be unconstitutional. Only the federal government is allowed to do that.
I could see the SC justifying such checkpoints with the interstate commerce clause even if I don't think that's right myself.
I don't think you understand what that clause means. The power to regular interstate commerce is a power reserved for the federal government, meaning that the states are specifically barred from exercising it. A ruling that pot trafficking across state lines is interstate commerce -- which would make no sense, but that's par for the course when it comes to that clause -- would serve to invalidate state-run checkpoints. And the feds would continue to be under no obligation to operate such checkpoints themselves. (The legal authority to do a thing is not the same as a requirement to do that thing.)
Originally, the interstate commerce clause was intended to prevent interstate protectionism (or at least, that's how it was generally interpreted in the early days). For example, Georgia couldn't impose tariffs on out-of-state cotton. And Virginia couldn't impose taxes on Georgia cotton passing through the state en route to New York. This latter interpretation is probably the most interesting one in this context. If you were to drive from Colorado to another state where pot is legal with the intent to sell a bunch of pot, and got (legally) pulled over and searched while crossing through a third state where pot is not legal, what would happen then? It seems like black-letter law, but somehow I doubt it would be so simple.
Back in the 30s or 40s the Federal government brought a case against a farmer analagous to this one.
The farmer in question was exceeding his 'export grain quota' in order to locally feed his livestock and for other on-farm uses. The Feds successfully won the case by claiming that his actions qualified under the interstate trade act because it allowed him to negatively affect interstate trade by not buying the necessary grain from outside of the state. This was quoted on the green site years ago and linked to both the wikipedia article and case files from cornell or somewhere. Maybe someone can find, link, and compare it to this case.
That's an example of using the interstate commerce clause to destroy people who were not engaging in interstate commerce in the first place. The actions of a corrupt, tyrannical government.
GP here. Thank you for the interesting comment. My own knowledge of history as concerns the commerce clause was lacking (with exception for events leading to the Civil War). I was mostly being cynical.
If you were to drive from Colorado to another state where pot is legal with the intent to sell a bunch of pot, and got (legally) pulled over and searched while crossing through a third state where pot is not legal, what would happen then?
A couple years ago I took a road trip to Colorado. I tried edibles, but that wasn't my cup of tea (or bar of chocolate). I'd briefly considered attempting to get an “exit bag” as they're called with a quarter gram of cannabis flower through all the states I needed to travel through to get back to flyover country. Of course I would have no intention to sell; my only intention was to attempt to heal from the mental illness which I currently suffer.
I would fully expect to be arrested in pursuance of state laws in the state in which I was apprehended. Another similar situation might be found with certain haz-mat. Consider class 7 haz-mat: radioactive material. I don't have my haz-mat endorsement any more due to DHS rules (and haven't driven a big truck in 10 years at any rate). Can a driver here elaborate? I've never driven an oversized load, but I'm familiar with the regulations. Are there similar rules for class 7 haz-mat similar?
At any rate, that would clearly fall under the commerce clause. I suppose I just have to wonder whether or not states in-between would want commercial vehicles transporting cannabis flower on their roads or not. The prohibition of cannabis flower is all very steeped in emotion and quite irrational (hence my comparison to radioactive material).
Goodness knows people think cannabis flower should be class 7 haz-mat. It's green! ZOMG!
"I tried edibles, but that wasn't my cup of tea (or bar of chocolate)."
Is it a different effect? I tried smoking the stuff a couple times, with mixed results. Ultimately I can't stand the smell, which reminds me of roadkill on warm summer nights in the West. An edible form might be interesting to try.
If they're having problems with trafficking then perhaps they should set up border checkpoints and explain to their taxpayers why keeping a silly, harmless crop out of their states justifies the expense of those checkpoints. I could see the SC justifying such checkpoints with the interstate commerce clause even if I don't think that's right myself.
Why was this modded as insightful? Such border checkpoints would be illegal and would not be upheld or justified by the Supreme Court. It's a clear violation of the Constitution of which there is case law precedent dating back nearly 200 years.
California has border checkpoints (well, technically they're a ways down the road from the border) for the purpose of inspecting/halting import of produce, to protect the state's industry against the introduction of pests and diseases. (Tho I'd guess the actual flow of pests and diseases goes mostly the other way.) It's still a checkpoint; how does it differ?
If they're having problems with trafficking then perhaps they should set up border checkpoints and explain to their taxpayers why keeping a silly, harmless crop out of their states justifies the expense of those checkpoints
Of course, what they really want is for this to be done at the expense of others. That's what politics is all about.
Maybe they could build a wall...
Because people shouldn't have the right to tell other people what to do, states shouldn't have the right to tell other states what to do.
This makes is especially telling that the conservative justices' disdain for drugs apparently trumps their usual die-hard support of states rights. Interesting exception there isn't it?
Not really. They also claim to be for "small government" but love pork spending for the DoD and having governments regulate morality and people's sexuality. They're bog-standard hypocrites.
I was hoping that Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito would have ruled that Interstate Commerce requires legal trade, and thus if the plaintiff states have banned it, enforcement of that ban is fully up to them.
Republicans are not conservatives. Democrats are not liberals.
As soon as people stop conflating parties and positions, everything will make sense.
It's refreshing to see that Nebraskans and Oklahomans won't get the right to tell Coloradoans what to do here.
Colorado marijuana continues to flow into Oklahoma in direct violation of federal and state law," Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said...
So I'm guessing the good people of Oklahoma are too busy getting stoned to really care what Coloradoans are doing.I'm pretty sure it's the usual law enforcement types who are pushing this. Their funding's at risk.
I'm pretty sure it's the usual prison industrial complex types who are pushing this. Their funding's at risk.
And then there are the archaic and retarded aspects of that federalism, like trying to move to New York from other states and finding out that your Citibank account from $PREVIOUS_STATE is not the same thing as a Citibank account in New York. That's pretty irritating because you can't open a Citibank account in NY without a local address, and you can't rent an apartment with a check drawn on a non-local bank. Never ran into that anywhere else in the country, just New York. It was explained to me that it was an anti-moneylaundering measure, but when hedge funds move billions of dollars around the world at the speed of light it's stupidly anachronistic to encumber regular people's funds that way.
Yup. I'm sure if Colorado's marijuana laws were struck down it would TOTALLY stop the smuggling and smoking of the devils weed. Get a grip. These uptight losers need a few hits of some good bud and a pizza.
And they might listen to that satanic rock music. Fucking tight-assed old people.
Or worse, black music!
The supreme court should start taking cases left and right, and when the even tie of the court ends up pushing the opinion back down to a lesser court, then people all across the political spectrum will see how important getting a new Supreme Court justice in there really is.
As tempting as it seems, that would be a disaster. We need people in positions of responsibility to show some mettle and do their best in the circumstances they inherit. The Supreme court needs to just do their job. If we get a 4-4 tie for the entire year, that sends its owns message. Also way better than 4-5 lost ;)
> The supreme court
They are, like, the HIGHEST court in the land, man. How do you think they'd TOTALLY RULE on this dude? Nebraska would be completely wasted!
maybe it's time for states with this "problem" to take the hint and lift the ban on marijuana. Colorado hasn't become some sort of Hellmouth to drug addiction because marijuana lacks the addictive properties that some people have associated with it. really, it's time to stop this overzealous war on drugs and begin addressing real issues.
But... But... Think of the children!!! Despite the fact that Colorado didn't make it legal for minors to buy or smoke marijuana.
Colorado hasn't become some sort of Hellmouth to drug addiction because marijuana lacks the addictive properties that some people have associated with it.
Not to mention that cannabis consumption is already high everywhere in the U.S.
It's the alcohol that will kill us all.
I have a hunch those French people would gladly donate some of their finer liqueurs in industrial quantities if you can guarantee your politicians and upper corporate officers will go first.
> Not to mention that cannabis consumption is already high everywhere in the U.S.
I think you mean "cannabis consumers are already high"... ;)
Exactly. If the neighboring states are so pissed about Colorado profiting from pot ... they should do the smart logical non-pothead non-bonehead move and legalize it too. Don't sit around and bitch like a bunch of whining cowboys.
But Jesus hates weed. Or at least that's what the old, crusty WASPs think.
They should start legalizing shrooms and cocaine to undercut Colorado and crush their shitty pot business. USA! USA! USA!
Marijuana is only addictive for people who use it a lot.
No, my anecdotal evidence says otherwise.
I have been a daily cannabis smoker for 20 years a minimum of 3 strong joints a day.
I went on foreign holiday last august, for the first time since being a smoker.
It wasn't until 2am on the night of arrival did I realise, not only had I not craved cannabis, it hadn't even crossed my mind. I laughed and poured myself another brandy.
There is a big difference between physical addiction (Fags, Booze, Heroin, Coffee) and habitual addiction (Cannabis).
Habitual addiction is easily delt with by making a major change in your life to bring you out of your daily habbit.
I thought I was a cannabis addict, turns out I only have a habitual addiciton due to my daily routine. Break that routine and cannabis is not even considered.
But hey, that's just my anecdotal experience. Yours may vary.
My brother in law is quite addicted to it. He has to smoke all the time to behave normally. When he doesn't, he morphs from an amiable guy into a raging asshole.
Perhaps brain chemistry is the difference. If you have enough dopamine/endorphins naturally, it would make sense that you wouldn't form the same attachment. But then you'd be less prone to substances like THC anyway.
I can't disagree (See my reply to AC below) we are all different and QED our brain chemistry will be different.
Add in the lack of study about the effects of cannabis and we really don't know what we are dealing with.
I have personally witness the extremes. You will if your involved in the drug communinty.
One guy I know was already inclined to mental illness. We were to young and niave to realise what was going on, but if I could turn the clock back and not pass him the joint? Damn right I wouldn't. The guy was already mentally ill, but we had not figured that out yet. Add in a bunch of emotional stress of being 16 and getting with girls while also fucking up your exams due to other stress in your life? It was too much and pushed him over the edge.
He's OK now, but still struggles with his mental illness, but living independantly and a contributing member of society. His little sister on the other hand? No drugs and about as unstable as you get without being sectioned. In this family, mental illness is inherited from the mother. His sister did not need drugs to push it.
Another example is watching my pot head friends panic with their habitual addiction when nothing is available (See the Great UK dope famine of 2005, which pushed the change from imported soap bar from morroco, which the UN burnt all the fields in 2004, meaning no pot in the UK in 2005 causing the rise of the vietnamese gangs growing in rented houses in the UK) now in comparison to physical addiction they did not suffer. No shakes of booze addiction or the craving of herion/fags but still a massive psychological impact on them. They suffered mentallly even if they did not suffer physically.
Addiction is different for us all. For me pot is no issue, booze and fags on the other hand? Damn I struggle to give those up, however they are physically addictive and cannabis is not.
I'm sure, given the right help and environment your brother could be off it pretty quickly. He may even find that if he tries it again, he does not like it (2 weeks of abstinance is enough so you get hit with the full strength and is a different experience from your daily smokers experience)
Oh one other thing to mention.
If your bro does give up, he will probably have several weeks of UTTERLY INTENSE nightmares.
I mean sleep terrors, waking up screaming with fear. Physical pain in dreams, horrible horrible nightmares.
After 2 weeks these fade and your back to "normal". But trust me, a pot smoker in withdrawal is quite likely to suffer from this and want a J before bed to stop this happening. Its (for me) the most horrific part of withdrawal. You don't want to sleep as the experience is so horrific.
Not true for all of us ofc, but something to be warned about and do let him know, it stops within about 2-3 weeks of giving up. These dreams are very lucid and can be controlled too, so take advantage of this stage if you can!
Definatly not just me, some research on various forums will show this is very common side effect of cannabis withdrawal due to increased REM sleep.
Yeah, and I know lots of people who only smoke cigarettes when they're at the bar. My coworkers would all 'borrow' cigarettes from me when we went out to the bar. (No grief, as I never needed to pay for my drinks, either.) The rest of the time they were content to be smoke free. So I guess, anecdotally, cigarettes are OK too.
My other anecdote would be that then cigarettes must only be a habitual addiction as well because.... I kicked the habit with no trouble whatsoever after being a pack-a-day plus smoker of over twenty five years. It only took a heart attack and single bypass surgery to do it. :) The serious take here being I really didn't have anywhere near the same trouble giving it up post-surgery as I did the 3-4 times I tried to kick it before that. Didn't need gum / patches / e-cigs etc. but did use Tootsie Roll Pops as an oral substitute. I still wonder if something didn't happen chemically within my brain as a result of the surgery to cause me to not need the nicotine anymore.
And all of the above including parent's post is why anecdotes are inferior to science.
Yup, hence "Your experience may vary".
No matter what, we are all different. I would guess that everyones brain chemistry is different.
I have tried to give up the fags, can't do it. Couple of reasons:
The addiction is difficult to deal with, I can't stop currently. Flip side, I have not had the "Health scare" that some smokers need to push them to quit.
I still enjoy smoking, I don't really want to quit, but I know I should. This is probably the biggest reason.
But, I would posit that having experienced both physical and habitual addiciton, I can really see the difference between the two.
Don't get me wrong though, I would still advocate that pot is dangerous to those who are already inclined to mental illness AND that addiction is different for everyone. Having witnessed another suffering from habitual addiciton to cannabis, I can say that there are those who struggle with it more than others and addiction is a spectrum for everyone. Something I found was easy is difficult for others and vice versa. I find my habitual addiciton with cannabis is easy to deal with. My habitual addiciton to booze? Not so much. That I really struggle with. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not drinking more than 2 beers a day, but giving those up is damn hard. I can't seem to do it)
Everyone is different.
So, Ill leave this with a Hunter S Thompson quote.
"I don't advocate drugs for anyone. But they have worked for me"
I'm a citizen of Colorado. I voted to decriminalize pot, so that nonviolent people caught with some small amount of the drug would not get sent to prison, full stop. I did not for the state of events we're currently...enjoying. Stoned people driving, neighborhoods glutted with "dispensaries" trying to get on the books before they're closed, even more goddamned Californication, and in industrial areas, a pervasive, inescapable skunky odor. Unintentional consequences, etc. Pot should not be an industry, but that's what we've got. I would encourage other states looking to decriminalize pot to take a step back, reevaluate, and do it only once other regulations prevent a free-for-all.
and in industrial areas, a pervasive, inescapable skunky odor.
I know where you're coming from. On my honeymoon I finally made it to Amsterdam on a long layover. My wife and I went to the area where the "coffee shops" are, thinking it would be fun to try it legally. The skunky smell that greeted us on the street struck us as so ghetto that we turned right around.
That depends on your point of view. I have an uncle in Colorado and he's seriously considering moving out over the marijuana issue.
that soon, it can be made federally legal, taxed for us all. And better still quality controlled the same way as everything else we consume.
I still will not touch it, but at least there will be one less reason to lock someone up for what is, essentially, a morality crusade.
It's a sad state of affairs when an appeal to liberty and inherent rights is inferior to the regulate-and-tax option.
Especially when the idea is to give the Feds the money. I like the idea of the taxes on my pot going to my state. That way it would at least have an opportunity to help me in meaningful ways. Like potholes, roads, schools, etc.
You give it to the Feds, they might give it to WallStreet the next time things get a little tough. The biggest reason of course if that the Feds *constantly* strong arm states over policies with threats to remove highways funds or the like if they don't get their way.
Pot money should be state money :)
It's not a "morality crusade" though. The reason pot (and most other drugs) are illegal has very little if anything to do with morality, and all sorts of things to do with race.
As in, white people can get away with being caught with dope (this fact saved the butts of multiple white folks I know in several different jurisdictions), but non-white men are routinely locked up over trace amounts somewhere in the vicinity. It's really not an exaggeration to say that the War on Drugs is really the War on Black and Hispanic Men. Which conveniently creates the largest prison population in the world that can be all but forced to work for lower wages than they could get outside of prison, and once they get out they can now legally be discriminated against in everything from jobs to housing to public assistance because they have a drug conviction.
Yeah, not a user either, and not impressed with the potheads I've known, but just legalize and tax the damn stuff already and stop eroding what's left of the 4th Amendment. It's a current argument here in MT ... I can come up with all sorts of objections to legalization, but it all boils down to "ain't no different than what people already do" and what you can't stop, you might as well benefit from. Cripes, it'd be like free money raining from the sky, and there's not many gov't budgets that don't need it.
We hear you're making a lot of money off legalized marijuana revenue, Colorado, and we want a cut. That way we can have our cake by not legalizing it, and eat it too by "sharing" the wealth.
No doubt an entirely accurate translation.
There was no lower court ruling. On an issue of a lawsuit between two (or more) states, they directly petition the Supreme Court to get a final ruling. (No lower court has standing to rule on such a matter.)
Apparently the usual methodology in such cases is to have an arbitration, and then analyze the results of the arbitration as an appealed case. That way, it fits in with the same format/rules as other cases. Kind of an elegant hack
US Constitution, Article III, Section 2 contains: In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.