Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Mar 21 2016

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today offered the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court denying an attempt to invoke its original jurisdiction in Nebraska and Oklahoma v. Colorado.

Nebraska and Oklahoma sought the Court’s original jurisdiction to challenge Colorado laws legalizing marijuana. Washington filed a “friend of the court” brief in this case, arguing the case was not appropriate for the exercise of original jurisdiction.

“I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court today decided not to hear the lawsuit brought by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado regarding Colorado’s effort to legalize and regulate marijuana,” said Ferguson. “States should be allowed to respect the will of our voters on this issue, and this positive step allows that to carry on. I will continue to defend the ability of Washingtonians to adopt our own approach to marijuana policy.”

If the Court had taken the case and ruled against Colorado, it could have threatened not just Colorado’s law, but also the regulatory structure for marijuana established by Initiative 502 in Washington state.


The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.


Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov