For the earlier various months we have been following Josephine County’s attempts to regulate away its cannabis sector, specifically in rural household zones. This saga has taken a lot of twists and turns (see in this article, in this article, in this article, and in this article), but this 7 days brought maybe the largest twist still: Josephine County has sued the State of Oregon in a accommodate that could effectively invalidate its cannabis program.
The legal skirmishes started back in December, when Josephine County handed an ordinance to severely curtail cannabis manufacturing on over 16,000 rural household homes. A group of growers appealed the ordinance to Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), boosting a procedural argument (poor detect to afflicted homes) and two substantive arguments (the county can’t ban pre-present lawful takes advantage of and the ordinance exceeds the county’s ability to impose affordable time, spot, and manner laws on cannabis manufacturing). Last thirty day period, LUBA dominated from the county, entirely on the procedural problem. Josephine County failed to provide right detect of the community hearings where the ordinance was reviewed. As a outcome, LUBA did not get to the substantive deserves. As expected, Josephine County elected to attraction the procedural issue.
Shockingly, Josephine County also decided to acquire the drastic move of submitting a lawsuit from the State of Oregon in federal courtroom. We gave our initial acquire on this aggressive move in news coverage here and in this article. In short, Josephine County wants the federal courtroom to:
- Declare that cannabis manufacturing can’t qualify as a pre-present “lawful use” because of federal prohibition
- Declare that counties can spot any restrictions they want, which include a full ban, on cannabis firms because state legal regimes are pre-empted by federal law
- Declare that Oregon’s medical and leisure regimes unlawfully prohibit the county’s law enforcement powers in mild of federal prohibition
- Enjoin the State from bringing official misconduct expenses from any community or county official that ignores their obligations less than state law.
This is a breathtaking overreach, as a victory could presumably give counties the ability to even disregard Oregon’s decriminalization statutes. As a county that allegedly wants to crack down on terrible actors and the black market place, and is seemingly battling to provide primary solutions, Josephine County really should be welcoming law abiding, tax having to pay cannabis farms with open arms. As an alternative, I am reminded of my younger daughter breaking her have toy when she doesn’t get her way.
This lawsuit raises main constitutional issues, involving states’ legal rights to promulgate cannabis programs despite the federal Controlled Substances Act, and over the objection of community jurisdictions. In the earlier, we have noticed prohibitionist states try to invalidate neighboring states’ cannabis programs, to no avail. This may be the initial time, however, that a county in an grownup use state has submitted these kinds of a lawsuit from its sovereign. We will be checking this circumstance intently, as will the Oregon cannabis sector at substantial and other prohibitionist counties nationwide.