Leland Rucker is the senior editor at Sensi Magazine and he joins us on Thursday mornings at 8.20am to talk about the latest news in cannabis.
A property dispute, although it’s much more than that, over whether a cannabis grow in Pueblo County has ruined the views and caused an odor problem for an eastern neighbor, went to court this week. Some say the case could set a standard using the federal RICO act to take down marijuana businesses.
This suit was originally filed by a Washington, D.C.-based organization called Safe Streets Alliance, an anti=marijuana organization, on behalf of the plaintiffs.
“With the passage of Amendment 64 in November of 2012, the citizens of Colorado not only broke faith with the Constitution,” its website stated in 2015, “they broke faith with the parents and grandparents in their sister states who are committed to doing all they can do to insure that their children and grandchildren grow up healthy and drug free.”
Safe Streets Alliance dropped out of the lawsuit later filed in federal court by the Reillys, who own a farm east of the grow owned by Alternative Holistic Healing.
The Reillys are claiming that the grow is an ongoing criminal operation under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which was designed to go after crime families and organizations. Besides spoiling their views, they allege, it might bring a criminal element into their neighborhood, which today is mostly open space.
The grow is owned by Parker Walton, a state-licensed marijuana cultivator who says he has done his best to be a good neighbor. The Reillys disagree and say the grow has marred their vistas and diminished their property value. Colorado U.S. District Court has already ruled that Walton and his business are in violation of the act. So Walton needs to prove his business hasn’t caused any harm to the Reillys’ ranch.
Walton says the grow doesn’t vent to the outside, meaning no smell could escape, and has hired an expert witness who has taken multiple readings using a Nasal Ranger smelling device and come back with no discernible odor.
Walton’s lawyer said county records show the property has increased in value, and the house is a long way from the grow operation.