Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado Lock and Load for the Great Pot War
It is not hard to see why Colorado officials want to hang on to what has become a growing industry.
Coincidentally or not, the legalization of marijuana has coincided with the rebirth of Colorado’s economy.
“Colorado’s economic activity continues to outperform the national expansion,” Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) said.
“Total employment and personal income have steadily increased for several years running. The state’s unemployment rate stands at 4.7 percent, the lowest since 2008. Looking ahead, the most likely scenario is for the momentum to continue at a steady pace.”
But Colorado’s good times aside, Bruning said Nebraska has been hurt by its neighbor’s legalization of marijuana.
"This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state," Bruning told the Associated Press. ”While Colorado reaps millions from the sale of pot, Nebraska taxpayers have to bear the cost.”
A USA Today report in June 2014 showed the number of people who have been busted on felony drug charges in Nebraska has increased dramatically since Colorado legalized pot.
Drug arrests in one small town, Chappel, Neb. — about seven miles north of the Colorado border — jumped 400 percent in three years.
Suthers will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court that the problem the plaintiffs are experiencing with law enforcement is not state, but federal.
“Because neighboring states have expressed concern about Colorado-grown marijuana coming into their states, we are not entirely surprised by this action,” Suthers said in a statement released by his office.
“However, it appears the plaintiffs’ primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana, as opposed to choices made by the voters of Colorado. We believe this suit is without merit and we will vigorously defend against it in the U.S. Supreme Court,” he added.
Suthers’ colleagues inside the Colorado State Capitol building in Denver don’t want to merely protect the marijuana industry; they want to help it grow.
State legislators, with Hickenlooper’s backing, have approved the formation of a credit union especially for the marijuana industry to provide the capital pot entrepreneurs will need to grow their seeds, and businesses, to even higher levels.
It all depends on approval from the National Credit Union Administration, but Colorado officials are hoping the Fourth Corner Credit Union will be open in January 2015.
Finally, another indication that Colorado’s marijuana business could be here to stay, pending a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court: the Denver Post has reported one of the pot entrepreneurs in Colorado has applied for a U.S. patent to protect his medical-grade Otto II strain of marijuana.