Tags: colorado | marijuana | lawsuit | sheriff | legal

Colorado Marijuana Law Opposed by Sheriffs in New Lawsuit

By    |   Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 03:10 PM

Sheriffs in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas filed a lawsuit Monday to overturn Colorado’s recreational marijuana law, Amendment 64, based on the opinion that it creates an impossible situation for police officers who have sworn to uphold state and federal law.

“This suit is about one thing — the rule of law," Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, lead plaintiff, said in a news release quoted by the Denver Post. "The Colorado Constitution mandates that all elected officials, including sheriffs, swear an oath of office to uphold both the United States as well as the Colorado Constitutions."

Amendment 64 forces law officers to violate federal law, which does not recognize recreational marijuana use and sales, Smith said.

The lawsuit filing elaborated on the issue facing sheriff’s officers, the Post said.

"By not seizing or by returning marijuana they encounter, the Colorado Sheriffs further violate their duties of office because they are placing the residents of their County and other citizens who they serve and are duty-bound to protect into increased jeopardy by allowing controlled substances to remain in increased use and commerce," the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, states.

One sheriff in Kansas, three in Nebraska, and six in Colorado are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

USA Today reported that the sheriffs from outside Colorado's borders have struggled with Amendment 64 because of increased drug traffic in their states, causing “increased drug arrests, overburdened police, and courts.”

In Deuel County, Nebraska, located just seven miles north of Colorado’s border, felony drug arrests increased 400 percent over three years, USA Today said.

Three other lawsuits have been filed since Amendment 64 went into effect, all asking that the amendment be overturned, the Post reported.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was named as a defendant in this recent lawsuit, told USA Today that he was following the choices of Colorado voters, and said that he has sought input from the federal government on the issue.

“The Justice Department said it would largely take a hands-off approach in states that have legalized marijuana as long as regulations seek to keep the drugs away from children and criminals,” USA Today said.

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Sheriffs in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas filed a lawsuit Monday to overturn Colorado’s recreational marijuana law, Amendment 64, based on the opinion that it creates an impossible situation for police officers who have sworn to uphold state and federal law.
colorado, marijuana, lawsuit, sheriff, legal
360
2015-10-05
Thursday, 05 Mar 2015 03:10 PM
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