September 13, 2018
Colorado’s racketeering law has been a powerful tool for prosecuting illegal marijuana ‘enterprises’ while vexing defendants.
Colorado’s legalization of retail and medical cannabis by no means eliminated the marijuana black market in the state. But state law enforcement has stepped up efforts in recent years to break up illicit pot-trafficking schemes.
Proving useful in that effort is a state criminal racketeering statute, the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, which was originally enacted as a weapon against mafia and gang activity and is now a powerful tool in prosecuting marijuana crimes, among other offenses. COCCA’s broad language and stiff penalties — including a presumptive prison sentence of eight to 24 years — give the state leverage against marijuana criminal defendants who might be tied up in an “enterprise” of illegal activity.