SALEM -- Officials in an Oregon county who have tried to restrict
commercial marijuana growing are suing the state in federal court,
asserting that while pot is legal in Oregon it remains illegal under
federal law, which has supremacy.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Medford,
escalates a battle between the Josephine County Board of Commissioners
and the state over regulating marijuana grows in rural residential
The county had tried to ban commercial pot farming on parcels of 5
acres or less, but the state Land Use Board of Appeals ruled last
month on the side of the growers, and put the restrictions on hold.
Now, the county officials are saying the state can't do that because
marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
The top federal prosecutor in Oregon on Friday pressed for data and
details about the scope of the state's role as a source of black
U.S. Attorney Billy Williams told a large gathering that included Gov.
Kate Brown, law enforcement officials and representatives of the
cannabis industry that Oregon has an "identifiable and formidable
overproduction and diversion problem."
"That is the fact," he told the crowd at the U.S. District courthouse.
"And my responsibility is to work with our state partners to do
something about it."
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Oregon officials twice neglected to deliver key documents when The
Oregonian/OregonLive sought to learn about a state-licensed day care
operating in the home of a Portland marijuana entrepreneur.
The search started July 10 with a public records request to the state
Office of Child Care. It asked for documents including anything
submitted by Step by Step's employees, operators or owners.
Agency officials provided records between July 15 and Aug. 2.
But missing from the documents were forms that Step by Step's top
employees, Bre Murphy and Shai King, each submitted when they closed
the business June 20.
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State regulators allowed a Portland man to have a childcare business
in his home while owning a storefront dispensary selling marijuana.
Those potentially dueling interests didn't surface until this summer,
after two childcare employees quit and contacted the state. They
accused the day care owner, Samuel Watson, of keeping large amounts of
marijuana inside his Alameda home and said he was putting children at
risk. Watson categorically denies the allegations, and state officials
have not found him at fault.
Without key employees, Watson in June was forced to shut down his
in-home day care and a second location in Concordia.
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[photo] 10,000 People Smoke Cannabis on Inauguration Day in Washington,
D.C. to Protest Trump's Pick of Drug Warrior Jeff Sessions The weed was
pretty good. #Trump420 protest in Washington, D.C. (Corey Pein)
An estimated 10,000 people lined up for five blocks to collect some 8,000
free joints at this morning's surprisingly punctual #Trump420 protest at
Dupont Circle in Northwest Washington, DC.
The mellow, all but police-free event was a first stop for President
Donald Trump's protesters and fans alike this Inauguration Day morning.
The weed was pretty good.
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