Led by Larimer County’s Justin Smith, sheriffs in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska say they’re facing a “crisis of conscience” brought on by the legal weed industry and that, as a result, they’re in a whirl about how to go about their jobs, which is why they are suing Colorado to shut down the now-well-established and burgeoning pot trade.
Colorado is “asking every peace officer to violate their oath,” Smith said. “What we’re being forced to do … makes me ineligible for office. Which constitution are we supposed to uphold?” reports Trevor Hughes for USA Today.
Colorado U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, whose district includes Larimer County, dismisses the lawsuit as the latest in a string of doomed legal jabs by anti-pot people aimed at overturning Colorado’s Amendment 64, the pathbreaking “treat pot like alcohol” citizen initiative that passed last year with more than 55 percent of the vote. In fact, the lawsuit only strengthens the case for a federal bill lifting the national ban on cannabis use, said Polis, who it happens has sponsored just such a bill.
“This lawsuit is a silly attempt to circumvent the will of Colorado voters and is a waste of time,” Polis said in a release. “The United States Department of Justice and President Obama have made clear, on several occasions, that they will not interfere with states whose citizens have chosen to regulate marijuana for recreational purposes. Unfortunately, these frivolous lawsuits will likely continue until we pass my bipartisan Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act and finally end the outdated federal prohibition of marijuana.”
Last year, attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma similarly sued Colorado to overturn the amendment.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, a conservative favorite and 2016 presidential hopeful, fired up the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., last week when he said he supported the Colorado legalization experiment.
“Look, I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called the ‘laboratories of democracy,’” he said. “If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.”