Vlad Butsky

Josephine County, Oregon Sues State to Nullify MMJ and Rec. Cannabis Laws

Josephine County, Oregon is suing the state in federal court seeking to invalidate both the medical and adult-use cannabis laws approved by voters in 1998 and 2014, respectively, the Associated Press reports. The lawsuit argues that the state laws are pre-empted by federal drug laws.

“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, in the lawsuit

The County Board of Commissioners has previously attempted to ban commercial cannabis farming on rural residential lots of five acres or less and to reduce the size of some commercial grows. The Land Use Board of Appeals put a hold on those restrictions on the grounds the county did not properly notify the landowners.

The lawsuit also names Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as a defendant. Kristina Edmunson, a spokesperson for the attorney general, told the AP that the office “will defend the state laws of Oregon related to marijuana” in response to the lawsuit.

In 2017, Oregon collected more than $60 million in taxes from legal cannabis sales, Rosenblum said in January following the rescinding of the Cole Memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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