SCOTUS Won’t Hear Cannabis Lawsuit

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Photo via Flickr user Kate Mereand-Sinha

By Joan Eberhardt

 

SCOTUS won’t hear challenge to Colorado’s cannabis laws

On Monday the Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit brought against Colorado, alleging that legal cannabis has been a judicial and economic burden to its neighboring states.

Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a suit directly with the Supreme Court, calling the massive legal cannabis market in Colorado akin to a drug cartel. The opposing states filed the suit directly with the Supreme Court, using a rarely utilized rule that grants the court “original jurisdiction” regarding disputes between states. Traditionally that rule is used to determine issues like boundary disputes and water rights. Nebraska and Oklahoma can still file suit against Colorado using the traditional federal court system.

While the court gave no information on why it declined to hear the arguments, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented, saying the case presented a substantial question and the court was required to hear it. “The plaintiff states have alleged significant harms to their sovereign interests caused by another state,” Justice Thomas wrote.

 

Medical Marijuana Stalled in PA

The Pennsylvania State House passed legislation last week that would create a legal medical marijuana market for severely ill residents in that state. While that same bill was passed by the Senate last spring, and the governor has been vocal in his support for the bill, it may be a few more weeks before he can sign the legislation into law.

The House added a few amendments to the bill, which sends it back to the Senate for further review. If the Senate further amends the bill, it will go back to the House.

“This is something that it very popular. I will sign it [when it] gets to my desk. And I think the leadership in both houses should have every interest in trying to get it to my desk as quickly as possible,” said the Governor.Governor Tom Wolf told Pennsylvania’s CBS outlet.

In related news, Pennsylvania spends $2.5 million per year to house 97 people imprisoned on nonviolent cannabis charges.

Cannabis drought in New Zealand

New Zealand police recently seized 9,000 plants in their annual aerial operation, leaving many cannabis users with a shortage. Prices in the nation’s black market have risen by as much as five times for a gram and a half of cannabis, prices per ounce are up as much as 30 percent and the quality has decreased significantly.

While this might be a bummer for the recreational user, it is having very serious consequences for medical marijuana users. One man told the Guardian  “I haven’t had problems sourcing it for the last 14 years” but the shortage forced him to seek prescription anti-depressants instead.

Quick Puffs

Pretty much everyone in the U.S. agrees we need to loosen up a little


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