Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MMJ lawsuit filed against El Paso County

Posted By on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 1:03 PM

In a 31-page document filed Oct. 3, a group of three attorneys — Robert Hoban, Charles Houghton and Laura Haynes — filed suit on behalf of Hammers Construction, Hatch Wellness Center and others requesting the courts order El Paso County to remove the potential ban question from its November ballot.

An excerpt from the filing, which was first reported by the Colorado Springs Business Journal:

None of these actions are legal under Colorado law. The Defendant simply cannot establish a regulatory scheme and then allow a ban of the very businesses it allowed to exist through regulation; this violates Colorado Constitution, Article II, Section 15. Nor can it restore a caregiver model under Colorado Constitution, Article XVIII, Section 14, which purports to have been dramatically altered by subsequent legislation.

In his blog for Local Liberty Online, City Councilor Sean Paige calls the actions "regrettable but probably inevitable."

I'm just glad the city narrowly avoided this quagmire, by sticking with our plan to monitor, regulate and tax these operations, an approach that deals realistically and rationally with the new situation, while respecting patient rights granted by Amendment 20. I warned that putting a ban on the ballot would lead to lawsuits, to prolonged conflict and uncertainty, since patients and providers weren't likely to just stand by and watch their constitutional rights being voted away. This conflict was both predictable and avoidable.

Look for more in this week's Independent.

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