Sheriffs and officials from Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging Colorado’s legal marijuana measure Amendment 64.
The lawsuit seeks to close down all recreational marijuana businesses and also overturn the law’s protections for use and possession, reports the Denver Post.
Plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit maintain that federal law should trump state law in the matter of seizing marijuana and making pot-related arrests.
“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 lawsuit argues.
The document names Gov. John Hickenlooper as the defendant. The list of plaintiffs includes sheriffs from Colorado, as well as neighboring states Nebraska and Kansas.
The lawsuit is now the third in a series looking to put and end to Colorado’s successful legalization program. Two similar lawsuits were filed in February by a Washington D.C. group called “Safe Streets Alliance.”
Despite these lawsuits’ accusations that legal marijuana has become a burden on law enforcement, possession arrests have dropped 84 percent since 2010, while burglary and homicide rates have also seen a reduction.
Legalization advocate and chairman of the Marijuana Majority Tom Angell believes the lawsuit goes against the decision of the voting public.
“While a growing majority of Americans supports replacing failed prohibition policies with legalization, there will always be some people who desperately try to cling to what’s familiar,” said Angell in a statement. “The people of Colorado and other states have spoken, and now these prohibitionists who lost at the ballot box on Election Day are trying to overturn the will of the voters by making a last-ditch attempt in the courts. They are wrong about marijuana policy and they are on the wrong side of history.”