Saturday, December 20, 2014

Supreme Court Original Jurisdiction

The lawsuit by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado is an interesting development on the legalization issue. This case filed by a state against another state would fall under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court which like appellate jurisdiction is discretionary. Texas v. New Mexico, 462 U.S. 554, 570 (1983).  They usually appoint a special master to conduct the trial and then review the record if they take the case and if it is justicible.

The lawsuit alleges that Colorado's marijuana legalization provision violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.  U.S. Const. Art. VI, Clause 2.  Under federal law marijuana possession is illegal.  21 U.S.C. Section 812; 21 CFR 1308.11(d).  In Section 538 (page 213) of the recently passed Continuing Resolution Omnibus Act, the federal government cannot use federal funds to enforce federal laws that make the possession of marijuana illegal against state licensed medical users of marijuana.  That provision does not apply to non-medical possession and in states that have not legalized medical marijuana.

The Law Office of Kurt T. Koehler, 308 1/2 S. State Street Ann Arbor, Michigan (MI) 48198 (Washtenaw County); Copyright 2012 by Kurt Koehler

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