Colorado is facing first-of-its kind lawsuits from marijuana opponents who are asking a federal judge to order the new recreational industry to close.
The owners of a mountain hotel and a horse farm argue in lawsuits filed Thursday that Colorado's 2012 marijuana-legalization measure has hurt their property. The lawsuits say that the marijuana industry is stinky and attracts unsavory visitors.
The lawsuits break new ground. They are the first in any state that's legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use in which the state's own citizens are appealing to the federal government to block the pot laws.
But the legal argument is similar to the one recently used by Nebraska and Oklahoma in their lawsuit: that Colorado’s legalization of pot violates the federal prohibition of the drug. And state law can’t trump federal law.
The plaintiffs hope to use federal racketeering laws to win damages from pot businesses that flout federal law. If successful, the claims could devastate the nascent marijuana industry.