Colorado Marijuana Legalization Spurs Racketeering Lawsuit

COLORADO:  A Colorado hotel franchise and two property owners filed lawsuits Thursday to bring a halt to the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana, citing violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The federal lawsuits, which also list the anti-crime Safe Streets Alliance as a plaintiff, are the first of their kind challenging Colorado’s first-in-the-nation recreational marijuana market, which began operating in January 2014.

The lawsuits “ask the federal courts to order Colorado officials to comply with federal law and stop issuing state licenses to deal illegal drugs,” according to a Thursday statement on the alliance’s website.

“In addition to shutting down the operations targeted in its suit, Safe Streets hopes that its use of the federal racketeering laws will serve as a model for other business and property owners who have been injured by the rise of the commercial marijuana industry,” the statement said.