National Anti-Crime Group Endorses Oklahoma-Nebraska Supreme Court Suit to Block Commercial Sale of Marijuana in Colorado
Petition Campaign Launched at SafeStreetsAlliance.org to Urge President Obama to Enforce Federal Drug Laws
Washington, D.C., January 8, 2015. The Safe Streets Alliance, a non-profit national organization founded over two decades ago to reduce violent crime in America, announced today its support for the recently filed lawsuit by the Attorneys General of Oklahoma and Nebraska seeking to block the commercial sale of marijuana in Colorado.
"With the passage of Amendment 64 in November, 2012 and the subsequent regulatory schemes to create a state-wide legal market for the sale and use of marijuana, the citizens of Colorado and elected and appointed officials broke faith with the U.S. Constitution and existing federal statutory prohibitions," asserted Safe Streets Chairman James Wootton. "Safe Streets supports and endorses the purpose of the Oklahoma and Nebraska plea to the U.S. Supreme Court to protect 'The nation's anti-drug laws [which] reflect a well-established – and carefully considered and constructed balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and societal priorities,'" Wootton further commented.
To further give voice to those Americans who support existing federal law prohibiting the production, sale and possession of marijuana, Safe Streets has launched a national petition campaign calling on President Obama to enforce federal law and to end the illegal experiments in Colorado and other states.
Citizens seeking to support and sign this petition can go to the Safe Streets Alliance website at www.safestreetsalliance.org.
According to Wootton, "The evidence of the harmful effects of the production, sale and use of marijuana in Colorado and other states is mounting daily. The President has both the moral and Constitutional obligation to stop this failed experiment by enforcing federal laws which prohibit the legalization of pot."
David Thompson, the Managing Partner of Cooper & Kirk PLLC and legal counsel to the Safe Streets Alliance, agrees with the Attorneys General of Oklahoma and Nebraska position that "For decades federal law has prohibited the production, sale, and possession of marijuana, and the United States has a treaty with most of the world's other nations that requires it to keep marijuana illegal." According to Thompson, "Despite marijuana's long-settled status under federal law, which in this instance takes primacy over state law, Colorado and several other states in recent years have attempted to legalize the drug and even set up complex regulatory regimes promoting its distribution. Notwithstanding the invocation of states' rights, the actions of the state of Colorado and others following its lead do not have a legal leg to stand on."
Thompson further points out that "The U.S. Constitution makes federal law 'the supreme law of the land,' thus giving the federal government the power and obligation to continue to enforce federal drug laws even when a state's laws say something to the contrary. In 2009, when the Obama Administration announced that it would not enforce the federal marijuana laws in states that purported to legalize the drug, a multi-billion dollar commercial marijuana industry sprung up almost overnight in Colorado and elsewhere."
Safe Streets Alliance Chairman Wootton adds: "The evidence is in that after five years of federal non-enforcement, the inevitable result has been easy youth access to marijuana, the deterioration of neighborhoods where the marijuana industry openly operates, and the rise of the drug culture everywhere."
Study after study supports that conclusion and documents the negative impact of pot use and attempts to make it legal. These reports have headlines like: Repeated pot use linked to lower IQ; Marijuana studies show regular use is bad for teen brains; New report says that pot-impaired driving fatalities up 100% in five years; andStudy shows that zoning regulations may push marijuana dispensaries into low income, minority areas in Denver.
One study by the Heritage Foundation highlighted seven instances in which marijuana legalization, even during its period of so-called "medical uses," has harmed Colorado:
The majority of DUI drug arrests involve marijuana and 25 to 40 percent were for marijuana alone.
In 2012, 10.47 percent of Colorado youth ages 12 to 17 were considered current marijuana users compared to 7.55 percent nationally. Colorado ranked fourth in the nation, and was 39 percent higher than the national average.
Drug-related student suspensions/expulsions increased 32 percent from school years 2008-09 through 2012-13, and the vast majority were for marijuana violations.
In 2012, 26.81 percent of college age students were considered current marijuana users compared to 18.89 percent nationally, which ranks Colorado third in the nation and 42 percent above the national average.
In 2013, 48.4 percent of Denver adult arrestees tested positive for marijuana, which is a 16 percent increase from 2008.
From 2011 through 2013 there was a 57 percent increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits.
Hospitalizations related to marijuana have increased 82 percent since 2008.
The Safe Streets Alliance further urges all Americans to go to www.safestreetsalliance.org to tell their stories about how Colorado's attempt to legalize pot has impacted their lives, loved ones or property and to sign the Safe Streets "Petition Urging President Obama and Attorney General Holder to Enforce Federal Drug Laws."
Contact: Brian Barnes Cooper & Kirk, PLLC (202) 220-9623
Safe Streets Alliance is a non-partisan, tax-exempt organization created in 1992 to reduce violent crime in America.