A medical marijuana dispensary has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the city of Medford’s permanent ban of pot sales. Richard and Marlene Nuckols, owners of MaryJane’s Basement and Attic, were shut down in May 2014 by Circuit Judge Timothy Gerking on the grounds that state laws did not trump the federal Controlled Substances Act. Gerking later allowed the Nuckols to reopen the attic portion of the store, but not the basement where marijuana was sold.
Grants Pass attorney Robert Graham is representing the business owners and says upholding Gerking’s order effectively nullifies Oregon’s medical and recreational marijuana laws. “If Gerking’s order holds up, then there is no enforceable law under either the OMMA (Oregon Medical Marijuana Act) or Measure 91,” Graham said.
Ballot Measure 91 became state law July 1 and allows anyone over the age of 21 to legally possess marijuana. Richard Nuckols said, “We are not dispensing medicine. I’m not doing anything illegal. I’m not doing anything the city has asked us not to do.”
Graham said Medford’s pot sales ban is preempted by state law and in his suit he cites the OMMA, House Bill 3460 and Senate Bill 1531 which prohibits local governments from banning dispensaries.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Benjamin Bloom was set to hear the MaryJane’s case, but Graham filed a motion to have him disqualified alleging that Bloom would not give Graham’s clients a fair and impartial trial. Graham refuses to discuss his rationale for filing the motion.
The city, in an answer written by Deputy City Attorney Kevin McConnell, references the Controlled Substances Act which lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, in the same category as herioin.
Medford officials are drafting regulatory rules for dispensaries while the ban is still in place.