Although certain individuals rejoice with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, there are those opposed to this move. One particular organization is in fact anticipated to file a lawsuit on Thursday in a bid to shut down the new industry claiming that Colorado officials are violating federal law.
In 2012, voters in Colorado voted for the legalization of the use of recreational marijuana by adults regardless that the drug continues to be federally outlawed. Safe Streets Alliance, a non-profit group that aims to reduce the use of drugs among young people, said that local Colorado officials violated federal law by promoting pot commercialization.
In its statement, the group asked the federal courts to direct Colorado officials to stop the issuance of state licenses for dealing marijuana pointing out that under federal law, the production and sale of the drugs remain a serious crime.
Safe Streets also called for the testimony of individuals who were directly or whose relatives, business or properties were negatively affected by the marijuana industry. Besides suing Colorado officials for their support of the pot industry, the group likewise said that it is suing several participants in the marijuana industry itself albeit it did not provide further details on this.
"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," the group said in a statement.
Those who support the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, however, said that voters have made their preference for regulated marijuana clear. They also said that the lawsuit could potentially drive the pot trade back into dangerous underground market.
"It's hard to imagine why anyone would prefer marijuana be controlled by criminals instead of by tightly regulated businesses. If drug cartels relied on litigation instead of violence, this is the lawsuit they would file," said Marijuana Policy Project spokesperson Mason Tvert.
Marijuana Majority chairman Tom Angell expressed doubts about the lawsuit becoming successful but noted that should it succeed, its effect will be the pushing back of marijuana into the hands of shady group.
He pointed out that the legal industry has to abide by controls and regulations to ensure public safety while organized crime groups may have no reason to play by the rules to keep the drug away from the hands of young people as well as ensure the potency and purity of the products.