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Supreme Court Dismisses Colorado Marijuana Case

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The United States Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a case against Colorado that could have dealt a devastating blow to legal marijuana laws in a growing number of states.

The lawsuit, which Nebraska and Oklahoma filed in late 2014, compared marijuana coming over their borders from Colorado to pollution. They said that as a result, their law enforcement agencies, courts and jails are being unduly overburdened.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, filed a written dissent against the Court’s refusal to hear the case, writing, “If this Court does not exercise jurisdiction over a controversy between two States, then the complaining State has no judicial forum in which to seek relief.”

The support of four justices was needed for the case to move forward. It has been widely speculated that the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia likely left the plaintiffs with one fewer vote than they otherwise would have had.

According to the case docket, the justices were scheduled to discuss the case behind closed doors on four occasions in the past two months, most recently on Friday.

The Obama administration, in a brief filed in December by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., urged the Court to decline hearing the case.

This is a developing story and will be updated with further details.

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