By Rick Sallinger

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s state law versus federal law in a civil case involving marijuana which is now being heard by a jury in U.S. District Court. This case is being watched closely because there are similar cases filed elsewhere around the country.

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Mike and Phillis Windy Hope Reilly call their home and land around it their dream property in Pueblo County. They moved in, and then right next door a marijuana growing facility went up.

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Marijuana is permitted under state law when proper procedures are followed, but pot is illegal under federal law.

So, the Reillys filed a lawsuit against the marijuana grower claiming he was violating their rights under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.

The suit claims under the law the grower is essentially a criminal organization engaged in multiple illegal acts each time it makes a sale.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Parker Walton. (credit: CBS)

Parker Walton of Cannacraft is the defendant in the lawsuit. He told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger it’s been difficult to deal with this since the suit was filed several years ago.

“It’s been tough both financially and personally. I am on the suit as Parker. I have no protection for my business,” he said.

The Reillys claim the marijuana grow has a skunk-like odor, has created noise pollution and decreased their property values.

The grower’s attorney insists property values have not been affected, there is proper ventilation and notes that state and local government authorities have issued them licenses.

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That same type of odor is now central to the lawsuit being heard in U.S. District Court, much to Parker Walton’s dismay.

“It’s of course wide open to my personal life. Anything my wife and I are trying to do we have to live with, so regardless of the outcome we are ready to move on,” he said.

He has a GoFundMe account to try to help cover the expenses, but so far it is far short of its goal.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.


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