One of the most widely used arguments for recreational marijuana legalization is now being challenged as violation of federal law. A lawsuit recently filed in Washington asks whether Washington State can legally tax an activity that is illegal under federal law.
A few weeks ago we wrote about local moratoriums on medical marijuana sales in Oregon. As with Washington's recreational marijuana regulations, cities in Oregon were given the choice to enact local one-year bans on medical marijuana dispensaries. As the deadline to enact the bans passed yesterday, Oregon's resistance to medical marijuana became clear. More than 150 cities and counties decided to enact the bans. Though some chose to ban the dispensaries reluctantly, others were firm in their opposition, even claiming the moratoriums do not go far enough.
The extremely limiting zoning requirements surrounding Washington's recreational marijuana law have been well documented here and elsewhere. To summarize, these zoning provisions are so restrictive that there are very few places in Washington that recreational marijuana sales will be allowed. Recently, it seems as if this problem has come to a head.