Residents of Colorado Don’t Want Legal Pot

Recreational marijuana under attack

Recreational marijuana under attack

Some Colorado residents have filed lawsuits asking a federal judge to close the state’s recreational marijuana industry. They say that legalization of marijuana has hurt their property and that the marijuana industry is stinky and attracts unsavory visitors. They also claim that under federal racketeering laws they can seek damages from marijuana businesses that openly disregard federal law.

One of the lawsuits was filed by the owner of a horse farm who said she’s been horrified to see a marijuana cultivation facility go up next door. She said the facility hurts her property because it mars the spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. The owner of a Holiday Inn who also filed a lawsuit says that a pot shop opening nearby is preventing families from using his business.

The plaintiffs reason that federal law is the supreme law of the land, and as such takes precedence over state law. Since marijuana usage is illegal under federal law, the plaintiffs think that Colorado’s legalization of marijuana is unconstitutional.

The lawsuits are the first of their kind in any state that has legalized medical or recreational marijuana to appeal to the federal government for relief. They are also the first lawsuits to use the racketeering approach to recoup financial damages.

One state congressman who supports the legalization of marijuana says the pot industry has boosted tax revenue and hurt the black market. An attorney said it will be difficult for the plaintiffs to prove damages that are directly attributable to the marijuana industry; but he said, “If these lawsuits are successful, it could be devastating for the industry.”

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