Federal appeals court judges are reviewing how far certain racketeering laws can be extended in a case that could threaten the right to recreational marijuana in California.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reportedly took oral arguments in a case that consolidates several claims and argues the recreational marijuana law in Colorado violates U.S. racketeering and controlled substances law. Both Oklahoma and Nebraska joined the claim after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to consider an earlier case they brought asserting Colorado’s pro-marijuana law was unconstitutional and illegally facilitated the industrialization of marijuana. The consolidated appeals also contain complaints from several county sheriffs offices as well as a horse ranch.
Plaintiffs assert that neighboring states have had to contend with federally-illegal substances crossing their borders, causing a strain on local law enforcement and other interested parties. The federal appellate court judges are now considering whether RICO or other federal statutes should have an impact on marijuana cultivation on properties (particularly those near Denver, where this case is being considered). Continue reading