Each term, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issues a copy of the docket it has selected showing all of the cases that will be heard during that time frame. While every case heard by the Supreme Court deals with serious legal issues, there are some that hold the potential to impact a broader section of the American public.
There are certain hot topics that people tend to follow closely like decisions of gay marriage and LGBT rights, state’s rights issues, universal healthcare and Obamacare, and in this case, legalization of marijuana.
Despite the fact that things seem to be going pretty well since the voters of Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use, there are those who are still trying to turn back the clock and suppresses peoples’ right to medical marijuana and recreational use marijuana. The case before the Supreme Court this term is Nebraska and Oklahoma v. Colorado.
Essentially, the two bordering states want to ban Colorado from allowing for legalized marijuana because they claim it is being purchased legally in Colorado and then smuggled into Oklahoma and Nebraska, according to a recent news feature from the San Francisco Gate.
However, with the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, it not known whether the court will choose to hear the case. The reason for this with an even number of justices, in this case eight, there remains the possibility of tie instead of a majority. With justices voting along with their political party in many incidents, there is a high likelihood that a case will end in a tie. Should that happen, the case will not be binding authority and whatever ruling was made in the lower court will still be precedent for the many lower courts in that area.
Another reason that the court may not hear the case is because many consider the case to be entirely frivolous, and the biggest supporter of hearing the case was Scalia, who is now deceased. One law professor interviewed for this article said the reason the plaintiffs are very unlikely to win on the merits is because it will be very difficult to show that they will even benefit from ruling in their favor.
As for the possibility of a deadlock in the decision-making process, it would not be the first time in this history of the court that his happened, as it has actually happened two times in the past. The first time was in the late 1800s and the second time occurred in the 1970s.
While these are major issues that you are not likely to be facing with your Los Angeles medical marijuana business, there are many rules and regulations that do apply, and it is important to keep on top of things to avoid getting in trouble.
The best thing you can do to make sure you are staying on the right side of the law is to speak with an experienced attorney who regularly handles cases involving medical marijuana.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Supreme Court hears pivotal marijuana legalization case today, February 19, 2016, By David Downs, SF Gate
Medical Marijuana Laws in CA More Liberal than in NY, Jan. 27, 2016, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog