SCOTUS Seeks Feds' Views On Marijuana Lawsuit 
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SCOTUS Seeks Feds' Views On Marijuana Lawsuit 
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2015 at 17:59:39 PT
By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post
Source: Huffington Post 
Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked for views from the Obama administration on a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma that contends Colorado's regulation of marijuana is causing an increase in drug crimes in their states."The Solicitor General is invited to file a brief in this case expressing the views of the United States," the court said in the order.
This kind of court order, called a CVSG -- or call for the views of the solicitor general on behalf of the U.S. government -- is commonly requested, and doesn't necessarily mean the court is moving forward with the case. "This is a fairly routine procedural step, and does not signal one way or another what the Supreme Court will do," said attorney Brian Vicente, one of the key drafters of Colorado's 2012 amendment that legalized recreational marijuana, to The Huffington Post. Vicente added that the court frequently seeks the input of the solicitor general on issues in which the Department of Justice has "much less of an interest." "The brief is likely to focus on the procedural defects of Oklahoma and Nebraska’s complaint," Vicente said.Dan Riffle, director of federal policies with Marijuana Policy Project, told HuffPost this is "exactly the kind of case" where a CVSG is expected to be requested by the court."Because this is involves issues that impact how the DOJ does its job, and because the DOJ has been grappling with the tension between state and federal marijuana laws for years, SCOTUS would like the Justice Department’s views on the case," Riffle said.Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed the lawsuit in December, alleging Colorado's legalization of marijuana caused a surge of marijuana trafficking in their states and “created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system." The states argue that under the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause, Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana is unconstitutional because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. States that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medical purposes rely on guidance from Attorney General Eric Holder's office urging federal prosecutors to refrain from targeting state-legal marijuana operations. But the clause states that, in general, federal law takes precedence over state law.The states' suit doesn't target the actual legalization of marijuana; rather, it seeks to overturn Colorado's regulatory system. If achieved, this would leave "legalization intact" while neutering the state's ability to police state-licensed marijuana businesses, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman wrote in a brief filed with the high court in March defending the state marijuana laws. Coffman requested the court dismiss the lawsuit.There is no deadline for Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. to respond to the order, but as the high court legal analysis blog SCOTUSBlog explains about the CVSG process, previous SGs have filed "invitation" briefs three times a year: late May, August and December, and when they are filed, the court tends to take the SG's position very seriously."Many scholars have noted that when the SG makes a recommendation to the Court, the Court is more likely than not to follow that recommendation, sometimes substantially so," SCOTUSBlog reads.Attorney Mike Evans, who represents the case of a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient from Colorado who was fired for taking his medicine while off duty and is very familiar with the disparity between federal and state marijuana law, said that while the court does find these SG briefs "persuasive," they are "not binding.""The only binding authority in the [marijuana] question is Congress," Evans said. Meaning Congress, not the courts, is best suited to resolve the tension between state and federal marijuana laws by passing legislation that would protect states from federal interference. There happens to be legislation that has already been introduced that would do just that -- the "Respect State Marijuana Laws Act," introduced in the House by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) in April.The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether it will accept the case, and MPP's Riffle is skeptical it will."Nebraska and Oklahoma lack standing to bring this suit," Rifle said. "But even if the Court did get to the merits of the case, most of us familiar with Supreme Court jurisprudence on this issue, and in particular the anti-commandeering doctrine, expect the court to say that Colorado’s regulatory regime for marijuana is not preempted by federal law."Nebraska and Oklahoma's case leans on the federal government's supremacy over states. However, the anti-commandeering principles of the 10th Amendment stand in opposition to the kind of broad readings of the Supremacy Clause that the states have offered in their case against Colorado, serving as a kind of counterweight to that federal supremacy argument. If the court takes that into account, as Riffle argues they likely would, it would leave a significant dent the states' case against Colorado."On the one hand this [CVSG] is concerning since it could be a sign that the court is taking the case more seriously than I think is actually merited," Tom Angell, chairman of drug policy reform group Marijuana Majority, told HuffPost. But he hopes clearer federal policy is the ultimate result."This could be a good opportunity for the Obama administration to further and more clearly articulate the president's position that states should be able to legalize marijuana if that's what their voters want," Angell added.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post	Published: May 4, 2015Copyright: 2015, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by kaptinemo on May 09, 2015 at 12:31:42 PT:
Runruff, I ain't no prophet
But as an engineer, I had to work with probabilities. And the odds that prohibition could continue past 2009 have nose-dived.Old folks who voted their 'anti-drug' (translation: closeted racial) prejudices into law are being removed from the voter rolls by age and infirmity. They are being replaced on those same voting rolls by those who are psychotropic-savvy. That they'd start their debut on the political scene with a topic near and dear to them, using it as a political litmus test, didn't take a crystal ball to see coming.The new electorate did not become successfully indoctrinated by DARE, as was DARE's purpose (to maintain the gravy train with a generation of programmed "Just-Say-No! Just-Say-No!" anti-drug-legislation supporting robots) and indeed have refuted it. The Billion dollar ONDCP ad campaign of last decade aimed at teens was a woeful flop, creating mocking laughter rather than deferential silence.And then we find out ONDCP has been collecting US citizen's phone calls? DEA is doing the same, AND having sex parties with hookers on the cartel's employ?Scandal after scandal, and they've had a Teflon coating...until now. Now, we have the electoral numbers to challenge the hidden special interests. They can't jimmy the vote on this bunch; we know how underhanded they play. We don't have to beg, anymore. Nope. Our turn to demand, now. The pols in the pockets of the special interests profiting from prohibition will have no choice but to turn to them and say, "Sorry, guys, I can't finagle this; the people are speaking loud and clear, and I can't BS them anymore on your behalf. I have to vote for it, or else."That's why the Senators were acting so ticked off; they know the societal pendulum is swinging back, and part of its travel from authoritarianism and fascism back to some degree of sanity in politics means cannabis law reform. If they don't want to get bowled over by that pendulum, they better get behind it...where we stand.
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on May 09, 2015 at 06:12:07 PT
You sound so darn smart, I am glad you our on our side! I always look forward to your post.
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on May 09, 2015 at 05:17:02 PT:
They led with the chin; reformers obliged
WRT the video: The prohibs are deep in a state of denial. They can't believe reform is making headway (despite their using our money against us). That's why they continue to promote the kind of propaganda they do, not realizing that it doesn't work on the latest generation. Their propaganda is largely tailored for the previous generation, which had a decidedly authoritarian streak. Hence all the reliance on threatening images, titillating and reinforcing those behavioral aspects.But, as the late Professor Whitebread noted, prohibitions are enacted by a dominant US to control THEM. The 'THEM' in this case were the minorities, and also political dissidents. The racial aspects of this have been gone over before, and shouldn't need much explanation. But the political aspects don't get much attention.Nixon's henchman Haldeman wrote in his diary that the use of the drug laws were meant to target critics of Nixon's political and social policies. That's why Nixon wanted Governor Shafer to turn in a bogus study rubberstamping Tricky's prejudices. That he didn't speaks volumes about his integrity, and illustrates the reason why people of my generation will always recall Nixon as being 'Tricky Dick', partly because of what Nixon did with that study. Prohibitionism is the last political gasps of cultural ignorance, bigotries and prejudices of an entire generation enshrined into law. Reform represents repudiation of not just the rational basis of the laws (frankly, there are none), but also the rejection of the underlying cultural defects that form the law's foundation. Defects that were considered to be hallmarks of the society that supported cannabis prohibition.In rejecting cannabis prohibition, we are, in effect, rejecting them, and their entire philosophical basis of authoritarianism, which is the foundation of their power base. The very fact that challenge to their dogma is made at all is infuriating enough. Which is why the more they lose, the harder they fight...and the more they rely on images they hope will excite support for their beliefs, but in effect isolate themselves with further anthropological 'threat displays'. Threat displays meant to frighten, cow and intimidate those who are now in the social and political majority, who hold down, jobs, pay taxes AND VOTE.Their old employers, who held the same beliefs, are literally dying off. The new boss is NOT the same as the old one; the new one wants cannabis legal again. And they want to piss off their latest employers? Who hold their pink slips? Not smart. Not smart at all. But then, they never were.
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Comment #7 posted by Universer on May 06, 2015 at 19:31:04 PT
That is awesome. I want that video to go some semblance of viral. That is Reefer Madness with better graphics.I suggest it be shared often by many - and comment! It is on the official YouTube channel of the Florida Sheriffs Assholiation, and it'd be nice to keep that 100% disapproval thing going.Like you said, ""
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on May 06, 2015 at 18:46:36 PT
Check out the comments on this crummy piece.
People aren't cowering under their cruel glare anymore.Drug Free America Foundation Honors Florida Sheriffs Association people in the video talk to the rest of us, and Floridians, like they believe we don't know any better. That's tiresome and infuriating. The War on Drugs was an excuse for militarizing the police. They did a hell of a job. Those don't look like police at all. They look like military. Military delivering warrants and raiding American homes? Is this the type of law enforcement you want your children to be subject to?. That is so not right. There was and is a reason for Posse Comitatus. In this country, we are not, by law, supposed to have the military used against the people. But some tyrant, or crew of them, obviously figured a way around it. Hatred created this militarization. Hatred and fear. Some officers even call people that are not police, "Civilians". What the thunder? They are "Civilians", too, unless they are active duty military. But look at this video, those clothes, their demeanor, their weapons, their armor, and other equipment, and the way they carry themselves. That's a deadly force military assault. That's not community police officers.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on May 06, 2015 at 18:24:42 PT
Playing politics with a plant.
I also don't see Obama making a move toward ending cannabis prohibition 'cause, as a democrat, He'll have an interest in helping dem's for the next election cycle.Not legalizing cannabis while being friendly to cannabis works in the democrat's favor.A number of states will have cannabis issues on the 2016 ballot and that will bring out young voters who tend to lean democrat. Legalizing cannabis today may compromise that.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on May 06, 2015 at 14:46:14 PT:
A game of "Hot Potato, Hot Potato!"
The Supremes want Obama to step in. They're pitching this radioactive Hot Potato to the Executive Branch. Obama will, of course, pitch it right back, and say the Legislative Branch has responsibility. But this is the last time.So far, all Branches of Gub'mint have successfully avoided having to make any decision in the light of the electorate's seeming sea-change regarding cannabis law reform. The time for deferring a decision is over; one will have to be made, and it will shake the political landscape. All the false reasons for maintaining prohibition are falling away, or literally dying off. The political 'cover' that protected the DrugWarriors and shielded their dirty dealings is thinning, like smoke, to reveal the self-serving bureaucrats and parasitic industries that serve them. They are the only individuals and groups now supporting prohibition, and this is becoming ever clearer to the public. Which is why when the public finally catches up to drug law reformers, the knowledge of what has happened - and continues to happen - is going to become explosive. No Gub'mint Branch group wants to be holding the bag when the pissed-off bobcat inside rips its way out and starts mauling its former captors.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on May 06, 2015 at 08:44:43 PT
It's just so wrong. Why can't everyone see that?
He got fourteen years and has lost everything but his self respect in this government/prohib persecution "Example".West Michigan man sent to prison for purported medical marijuana grow operation've never been there, but I've heard and read a lot about it. I'm convinced Michigan is a bad dark place. Michigan seems to have some cruel or stupid, maybe both, but powerful, people with benign faces covering evil hearts in high places of influence there.There are many good, sane people in Michigan, I know. But in government, they don't seem to have much say or influence.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on May 05, 2015 at 14:43:14 PT
POLL:Should Denver's marijuana shops be allowed to stay open later than the current legally mandated 7 p.m. closing time?YESNO
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on May 05, 2015 at 09:12:22 PT
I still remember the Rehnquist Court.
This chowder head was addicted to alcohol and dope pills. His Court ruled on Angel Raisch like they were on drugs.They wrote the the most obvious piece of political fiction in US Supreme Court history. I have read it. It is an embarrassing , twisted piece of judicial trash I have seen since the Jim Crow ruling. Rehnquist was a muddle headed political tool which has, in the light of the truth, revealed the Court for what is is, a political tool. I look at justice Thomas and ask myself " are we at the Supreme Court or the NY Zoo?
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