Don't Pass The Joint! Nebraska and Oklahoma Are Suing Colorado Over Marijuana. Here's Why They're Dead Wrong...

December 19th 2014

Matthew Segal

So much for friendly neighbors! Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, is being sued by nearby Nebraska and Oklahoma for causing an uptick in marijuana arrests given its frequent transit between state lines.

“Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining plaintiff states’ own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries and placing stress on their criminal justice systems,” the lawsuit says.

The Attorney General of Colorado, John Suther, has defended his state, saying “we believe this suit is without merit and we will vigorously defend against it in the US Supreme Court.”

But the attorneys general of Nebraska and Colorado feel differently. 

"The illegal products being distributed in Colorado are being trafficked across state lines thereby injuring neighboring states like Oklahoma and Nebraska,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt in a statement. “As the state’s chief legal officer, the attorney general’s office is taking this step to protect the health and safety of Oklahomans."

"This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state," stated Jon Bruning, the Nebraska Attorney General at a press conference. "While Colorado reaps millions from the sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost."

Which begs the question: if Nebraska wants to reap the benefits of tax revenue from marijuana, why wouldn't they legalize it, too? Colorado collected $23.6 million in tax revenue in just the first five months of 2014 and there have already been there are an estimated 7,500 to 10,000 jobs created by the industry.

The state has also given millions to schools as well as substance abuse programs with the revenue. 

Washington state, which also legalized recreational marijuana, is predicted to gain roughly $190 million in revenue over a four year period from marijuana production and sales, including the obligatory taxes and license fees.