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Nebraska and Oklahoma Seek to Join Court Challenge Against Colorado Cannabis Laws

The attorneys general in Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a motion to be added to two existing lawsuits attempting to shutter Colorado’s legal marijuana program, following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to dismiss a lawsuit by the states last month.

If the motion is approved, Nebraska and Oklahoma would be added to the suit brought by sheriffs in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, and owners of a horse ranch in Pueblo County, Colorado. Those cases were both independently dismissed by a lower court but the plaintiffs have asked for an appeal, which will be heard by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, according to The Denver Post. Both appeals requests were merged into a single suit.

The Colorado suits share a common plaintiff – D.C.-based Safe Streets Alliance – and argue that federal drug law should supersede state law. The border states’ lawsuit alleges that Colorado’s legalization of cannabis violates their sovereignty and has forced them to spend more money on law enforcement due to the increased number of people caught bringing marijuana into their states.

The suit by the horse ranchers focuses on their rights under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The statute aims to eliminate “the infiltration of organized crime and racketeering into legitimate organizations operating in interstate commerce.” Additionally, the ranchers say a neighboring marijuana cultivation facility – which they refer to as “an illegal drug conspiracy” – impedes their views and interferes with construction plans on their 105-acre property.

The Appeals Court will decide if it will add the states to the suit, but no timeline on that decision is available.

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