States sue over cannabis, Colorado approves research money and more 


Or change your laws

As the beginning of the lawsuit filed last week puts it, "Come now the States of Nebraska and Oklahoma, by and through their Attorneys General" ... to stop legalized marijuana. The states are suing the state of Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to get the federal government to curtail Colorado's industry.

The joint suit cites the Controlled Substances Act and various international treaties in its argument. It requests the Supreme Court declare Amendment 64 unconstitutional, stop Colorado from further implementing legal marijuana and, of course, pay the states' attorney fees.

"In passing and enforcing Amendment 64, the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system enacted by the United States Congress," reads Point 7 of the suit, which you can read in its entirety at tiny.cc/tsgarx. "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."

Observers are skeptical, with Vanderbilt University law professor Robert Mikos writing, "Not surprisingly, I think the suit lacks merit. As I've explained before, Congress can't force states to criminalize marijuana." The Marijuana Policy Project is circulating a petition to get the states to withdraw the suit, drawing almost 15,500 signatures as of early this week. For his part, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, a candidate for Colorado Springs mayor, says his office is "not entirely surprised by this action" but "will vigorously defend against it in the U.S. Supreme Court."

Meanwhile, investors at ArcView Group say the 2014 national cannabis industry was worth $1.5 billion, and forecasts growth to $10.2 billion by 2018.

New research, maybe

Last week, the Colorado Board of Health approved $8.4 million in grants to organizations interested in studying the effect of cannabis on various ailments. The approved research includes Parkinson's disease, brain tumors in children, post-traumatic stress disorder — which the board has repeatedly refused to add to the list of approved maladies that warrant an MMJ card — childhood epilepsy, IBS and spinal pain.

The funds come from registration fees paid to join the medical marijuana registry, which the Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project, led by Kathleen Chippi, says is illegal. The group is suing the state to block the grants, reports the Denver Post.

New year already?

Party with Studio A64 (332 E. Colorado Ave., studioa64.com) at its NYE 2015: Infusion Gala Dinner. Held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 31, it features three courses infused with cannabis with "VIP access to upper and lower deck party." Tickets are $49.


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