Sensi: Marijuana news – using RICO laws against legal pot businesses

Several out of state organizations have tried to target Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana, citing violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

The plaintiff in several suits is anti-drug Safe Streets Alliance, which states on its website:

“In addition to suing Colorado officials for giving comfort to the marijuana industry, Safe Streets and the other plaintiffs are also directly suing several prominent participants in the industry itself. Federal racketeering laws give private plaintiffs injured by the operations of a commercial drug conspiracy the right to an injunction, treble damages, and attorney’s fees. 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.”

Leland Rucker reports in that last month, Judge Robert E. Blackburn dismissed charges in one of the suits against Pueblo County, as well as other government agencies and officials.  In his ruling, the judge said that RICO charges cannot be brought against government entities because they “cannot form specific criminal intent.”