The Biden administration has responded to a Denver dispensary’s petition in the U.S. Supreme Court by arguing that federal law makes no exception for “state-legal marijuana,” and that states such as Colorado may not authorize businesses to violate that law.
“Marijuana is listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act … without any exception for ‘state-legal’ marijuana,” wrote Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar in a brief filed on Feb. 12. “States may not countermand Congress’s decision to prohibit trafficking in marijuana. Such activity violates federal law even when it does not independently violate state law (and even when it is affirmatively permitted by state law).”
James D. Thorburn, the Colorado attorney who is appealing the case of Denver-based medical dispensary Standing Akimbo against the United States government, expressed disappointment that the Biden administration continues to argue that states’ regulated cannabis regimes are legally void.
“That is precisely the federal government’s position and has been for many years,” Thorburn said. “We were hoping that the Biden administration would soften that stance. It, unfortunately, has not and is doubling down.”
The underlying case, and a series of others like it