Oklahoma and Nebraska Try to Revive Their Challenge to Legal Pot in Colorado

The two states want to join appeals filed by landowners and sheriffs.


Official Portraits

Having failed to interest the U.S. Supreme Court in their challenge to marijuana legalization in Colorado, Oklahoma and Nebraska are trying to join a couple of other anti-pot lawsuits that are now before a federal appeals court. This month Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to let them intervene in cases brought by Pueblo County landowners and Colorado sheriffs.

The landowners, Michael and Hope Reilly, filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in February 2015, arguing that a marijuana cultivation facility that Rocky Mountain Organics planned to open on a parcel near their horse ranch in Rye will spoil the view, ruin their peace of mind, and bring undesirable odors and visitors. Last January, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ruled that the Reillys could not use RICO to sue Gov. John Hickenlooper or the other state and local officials they named in their complaint. That decision left in place the couple's claims against Rocky Mountain Organics, the company's insurer, its landlords, and the contractors who are building the cultivation facility and piping water to it. 

Six Colorado sheriffs, joined by four sheriffs from Nebraska and Kansas, sued Hickenlooper in March 2015, arguing that Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana in Colorado, violates the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and therefore the Supremacy Clause (which makes congressional legislation "the supreme law of the land"). Last February, U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that neither the CSA, the Supremacy Clause, nor the international drug control treaties cited by the sheriffs authorize private causes of action.

In a lawsuit that the Supreme Court last month declined to hear, Pruitt and Peterson made arguments similar to the sheriffs', claiming that Colorado's regulation of marijuana suppliers violates federal law and harms their states by increasing opportunities for smuggling. Now they are trying to vindicate the interests they described in their lawsuit by joining the appeals filed by the sheriffs and the Reillys. "Because the people of Nebraska and Oklahoma have determined that marijuana is harmful and should be illegal," they say in their appeals court brief, "Nebraska and Oklahoma have a duty to protect their citizens from the continuing harms resulting from Colorado's illegal activities." They argue that there is "an imperative reason for intervention," because otherwise the 10th Circuit "may effectively decide Nebraska and Oklahoma's claim before it has the chance of being litigated in front of any court."

NEXT: FCC Meddles in Cable-Box Market. Is Streaming TV Next?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Fuck off, anti-Federalism slavers.

  2. "Spoils the view"?

    Unless you buy all of the land from here to the horizon, you have no business dictating what gets done to it because of your 'view'. You don't have a property right to the appearance of someone else's land.

    1. You don't have a right to someone else's paycheck either. How has that worked out? The basic human right to have a "good view" is no doubt on the cusp of judicial discovery.

      1. +1 strip joint

  3. "Ruins their peace of mind"?

    *** ponders many lawsuits ***

    1. You're going to get slapped with "Legitimate government interest overbalances Rich's peace of mind". I know it's bullshit, but so's the "ruins peace of mind".

      1. Ruining Rich's peace of mind IS a legitimate government interest. Duh!

        1. *** sighs ***

          It's for the common good, I suppose.

          1. If it saves just one child isn't it worth it?

      2. "Ruins their peace of mind". If only there were some sort of herbal supplement they could use to ease their troubled minds.

    2. Yeah, that was easily the most ridiculous thing I've heard so far this week (it'll probably be beaten out by week's end by some college safe space idiocy).

      They're basically saying that the idea of people growing the devil's weed within their field of view is so distressing to them that they can't handle the emotional stress that would be caused by the thought of filthy hippies getting high. Really, these fuckheads need to mellow out. Perhaps they should consider smoking some weed to chillax...

  4. I am liking the whole 'suing the governor and various officials under RICO.
    Just on principle.

    1. I don't think it will work.

      They'll dust off some bullshit judicial excuse.

    2. The problem is, here the theory is they're conspiring to let people alone, and *that's* supposed to be the crime.

    3. There is no criminal racket larger than a government, except for the next level of government beyond that one.

    4. I get why you like it- Turn the law against the abusers.

      However, the more appropriate remedy is to get rid of bad laws and RICO is one of many.

  5. Fucking federalism, how does it work?

    1. It doesn't.

      1. It works and Colorado with Pot is proof of that. Had the Civil War only decided the slave issue, there would be much more federalism. Add in the New Deal and state have been losing sovereignty for decades now and jsut now starting to push back a bit.

  6. So, they're saying the wind blew the marijuana smoke across the border and turned them into litigious assholes?

    1. And made them have sex with negro jazz musicians yes.

      1. Worse, it made all their white women run off with negro jazz musicians.

  7. Don't OK and NE have other issues to worry about?

    The County of San Diego tried a similar tactic when it challenged medical marijuana statutes years ago. Every independent legal mind told the Board of Supervisors it'd be a waste of time/money since San Diego law enforcement officers aren't federal agents merely because of the Supremacy Clause, that they have to follow state law first.

  8. Most of us want to have good income but don't know how to do that on Internet there are a lot of methods to earn money at home, so I thought to share with you a genuine and guaranteed method for free to earn huge sum of money at home anyone of you interested should visit the site. More than sure that you will get best result.F---04


  9. I don't want to hear one damn word out of Oklahomo or their butt-buddy Nebrasska about gay marriage or abortion or Obamacare or the 2nd Amendment or whatever stuff the EPA, the BLM or the DOL gets up to then. We clear on your principle of supremacy here?

  10. Dear OK and NE:

    Fuck off, slavers!


    Residents of CO

  11. The same legal theory could be used against Nebraska and Oklahoma- Colorado's sovereignty claim that Colorado's regulation of marijuana suppliers is being violated by Nebraska and Oklahoma's frivolous litigation expenses and harms Colorado by targeting Colorado residents traveling through Oklahoma and Nebraska.

    If Oklahoma and Nebraska are allowed to be successful then every state that doesn't like what another state is doing can sue instead of states being incubators of different ideas for their residents. As long as the ideas are Constitutional and drugs are certainly constitutional.

  12. Yes, well. I'm just glad not to be living in OK anymore. Assholes.

    1. I guess Oklahoma is not OK (Okay). 🙂

      1. Wow, someone with the handle DenverJ takes Colorado's side against Oklahoma in this case!

    2. At least our basketball team is in the playoffs!

  13. Alt text: Cop a douchebag?

  14. Oklahoma and Nebraska Try to Revive Their Challenge

    It started off so well 🙁 #GBR

    1. I bought brand new white Ferrari by working ONline work. five month ago i hear from my friend that she is working some online job and making W----04..more then 85$/hr i can't beleive. But when i start this job i have to believed her Now i am also making 85$/hr if you want to try. Check Here.....


  15. "Because the people of Nebraska and Oklahoma have determined that marijuana is harmful and should be illegal"

    I think he mispronounced Canadian Club.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.