Your Evening News - December 18th, 2014

Dec 18, 2014

Nebraska & Oklahoma Sue Colorado Over Pot Legalization

The Attorney Generals of two neighboring states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Colorado’s legalization of recreational pot. Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit stating Colorado's Amendment 64 and implementation is unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says Federal law prohibits the production and sale of marijuana. At the same time, he says Nebraska taxpayers are paying for an increase in marijuana-related arrests.

“It’s frustrating to have a sister state reaping tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue and sending the problem side of it to us.”

In a statement, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he’ll defend the state's legalization of marijuana. He says he believes the lawsuit is without merit and that the primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana instead of the choices made by Colorado voters.

Low Snowpack This Winter

The snowpack in the Roaring Fork watershed is below average and its due in part to a lack of big storms so far this winter. The current snowpack for the watershed is 78% of normal and recent small storms have helped. Compared to last year though, snow depths are much lower, but it’s still early in the season.

Sarah Johnson with the Roaring Fork Conservancy tracks snowpack levels. Normally the Crystal River headwaters hold the most snow in our watershed. Right now, that area is reading 63% of normal.

“Most of our winter storms so far this winter have come from the north, and so those big storms that come from the southwest that dump so much snow in the Crystal headwaters, we haven’t seen a lot of those storms yet this season.”

Seven sites measure snowpack levels to come up with an overall reading for the Valley. Those sites are spread from the Crystal River to the Frying Pan and up Independence Pass.

Colorado Students to See Education Grants

Governor John Hickenlooper announced $3.4 million in grant funds aimed at supporting Colorado students. The investment is geared toward low income and under-represented populations and is meant to address workforce readiness, the college degree attainment gap and affordability issues. The money will go to programs around the state. In the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs will receive $200,000.