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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