10th Circuit: Neighbors may file federal RICO lawsuit against state-licensed marijuana growing operation
This story is also being reported by all the cannabis press but the Volokh Conspiracy blog penned by Eugene Volokh is really the best source we’ve found for commentary.
. As you’ll see from his bio following, we’d suggest this analysis of the case is the one to read.
Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Before coming to UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Volokh is the author of the textbooks The First Amendment and Related Statutes (4th ed. 2011), The Religion Clauses and Related Statutes (2005), and Academic Legal Writing (4th ed. 2010), as well as over 70 law review articles. Volokh is also an Academic Affiliate for the Mayer Brown LLP law firm.
Marijuana has been decriminalized and regulated by various states, but it remains forbidden by federal law. This means that state-legal marijuana growers might still face federal charges, though federal prosecutors could choose not to enforce the federal ban in such situations.
But it also means that private citizens (here, a couple named the Reillys) could sue neighboring marijuana growers under the federal RICO statute, on the theory that the growers are interfering with the neighbors’ use of their land — as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit just held Wednesday in Safe Streets Alliance v. Alternative Holistic Healing, LLC. And this would not be affected by a Justice Department policy of not enforcing the criminal ban on marijuana production and distribution in those states that allow marijuana. The decision thus further highlights the precarious status of marijuana in Colorado, Washington, California and other such states, so long as Congress declines to officially allow such state legalization.
Read the full article at the link above
Post-traumatic stress disorder is now a qualifying condition for doctor-recommended medical marijuana in Colorado. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17 into law this week. The act opens the doors for Colorado residents to receive a doctor’s OK to use medical marijuana in the treatment of PTSD symptoms. It’s the first new qualifying condition added under the state’s medical marijuana law since it was implemented in 2001.
More at above link
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