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Marijuana dispute pits Josephine County against state of Oregon

(AP Photo/Mathew Sumner)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Officials in Josephine 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 areas.

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.

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