Cave Junction lawsuit could have big implications on future of dispensaries

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Thu, May 1 2014 at 6:17 PM, Updated: Thu, May 1 2014 at 9:10 PM

Cave Junction, Ore. -- Medical marijuana has been the talk of the town since a new law allowing dispensaries took effect on March 1st. But Cave Junction is asking a judge for clarity. Does opening medical marijuana dispensaries comply with state and federal law?

A lawsuit was filed in Josephine County Circuit Court by the city Wednesday. The defendants are the state of Oregon, Governor Kitzhaber, and Oregon Health Authority.

Cave Junction City Attorney Ryan Kirchoff said the lawsuit isn't an argument, but a request for action.

"This is not about the politics of marijuana," Kirchoff said. "It's not adversarial, it's not a stand against anything political, it's simply a matter of resolving this conflict."

The conflict between state and federal government started back in March when Oregon legalized medical marijuana dispensaries. The federal government still considers the drug illegal.

Kirchoff said the outcome of the suit could affect the entire state.

"If the court overturns or finds the statute is unconstitutional as in violation of federal law, then dispensaries wouldn't be allowed under state law to exist," he said.

Kirchoff said Cave Junction city officials took an oath saying they'd abide by both state and federal law. Critical grant money depends on it.

The State Department of Justice said they're aware of the lawsuit and are looking at their options.

The city voted Monday night against a moratorium. Kirchoff said one application for a business license for a dispensary has been tabled pending the ruling of the lawsuit.

Copyright KOBI-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without written permission.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

Leave a Comment:

Note: Comments with profanity are automatically filtered and hidden. Verbal attacks towards others via our comments section will not be tolerated.