Marijuana dispute pits county against Oregon

SALEM, Ore. — Officials in an Oregon county who’ve tried to limit business marijuana manufacturing sued the state in federal courtroom, asserting state legal guidelines that made pot authorized are pre-empted by federal regulation that criminalize it.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court escalated a long-running battle between the state and the Josephine County Board of Commissioners.

The panel says pot farms are a nuisance. The county is in a main marijuana-producing area of Southern Oregon.

Voters within the state legalized marijuana with a 2014 poll measure, prompting a “green rush” as pot entrepreneurs arrange store within the fertile, wet mountainous space.

County Commissioner Dan DeYoung has stated rural residents, lots of them retirees, are fed up with the proliferating farms in areas zoned as rural residential.

“The good people are leaving and the marijuana people are staying,” DeYoung stated, in accordance with the Daily Courier newspaper.

The fee in December tried to ban business pot farming on rural residential numerous 5 acres or much less and to drastically scale back the dimensions of some bigger develop websites.

But the state Land Use Board of Appeals later put the restrictions on maintain, saying the county did not correctly notify landowners.

Pete Gendron, a marijuana grower within the county and president of the Oregon SunGrowers’ Guild advocacy group, stated the growers have invested giant sums to start out operations and have been shocked when the county tried to limit them.

One grower had a letter from the county courting again a yr or extra stating that hashish cultivation was farm use and was allowed, Gendron stated.

“He invested a half-million dollars in the county,” Gendron stated. “He would not have made those investments if not for those assurances.”

The lawsuit by the fee contends the state can’t dictate marijuana laws over county restrictions as a result of marijuana stays unlawful underneath the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“Any person in any state who possesses, distributes, or manufactures marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, or attempts or conspires to do so, is committing a federal crime,” Wally Hicks, a lawyer for the county, wrote within the lawsuit that names state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as a defendant, together with the state.

Rosenblum’s spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson stated she will’t touch upon pending litigation however famous in an e mail: “We will defend the state laws of Oregon related to marijuana.”

The lawsuit calls on a federal courtroom in Medford to declare that two poll measures in 1998 and 2014 that legalized medical and leisure marijuana, respectively, are pre-empted by federal regulation.


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