Colorado residents file lawsuits challenging recreational marijuana market News
Colorado residents file lawsuits challenging recreational marijuana market

[JURIST] Colorado residents filed two lawsuits [complaint, PDF; complaint, PDF] Thursday in the US District Court for the District of Colorado [official website] seeking federal action to close the recreational marijuana market. The lawsuits mark the first in-state legal action opposing the legalization of marijuana. The actions were filed by owners of a horse farm and owners of a Holiday Inn with the support of anti-marijuana group Safe Streets [advocacy website]. The plaintiffs allege the marijuana industry violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act [text] and claim the proximity of recreational marijuana businesses is damaging their property due to the “offensive smell” and by driving away “legitimate businesses’ customers.” In response to the lawsuit, the policy reform group Marijuana Policy Project [advocacy website] posted on Facebook urging supporters to boycott the hotel brand.

The legal use and sale of marijuana [JURIST backgrounder] for both medical and recreational purposes has become a major political issue in the US with a number of states contemplating various legalization initiatives. In December Oklahoma and Nebraska filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against neighboring Colorado over the new marijuana market. In November voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, DC, voted [JURIST report] to legalize recreational marijuana. In September the Pennsylvania State Senate approved [JURIST Report] legislation that would legalize several forms of medical marijuana. In July Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed [JURIST report] legislation that will allow adults and children suffering from seizures access to medical marijuana. In April the Maryland House of Representatives passed a bill [JURIST report] that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.