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Court Stubs Out Suit by Fan of Recreational Pot

WASHINGTON (CN) - A federal judge dismissed a Washington man's claim that the Obama administration's approach to legal marijuana in his state is unconstitutional.

Arthur West sued Attorney General Eric Holder and several Washington state officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee and Liquor Control Board Chairwoman Sharon Foster, in 2014, invoking the anti-commandeering doctrine of the Constitution.

U.S. District Judge John Bates in D.C. threw the case out Monday for lack of standing, six months after tossing the claims against the Washington state officials.

West, an admitted user of medical marijuana, claimed that the legalizing recreational use of pot would make scoring medicinal marijuana harder and more expensive.

But Bates said "West offers nothing to support his speculative predictions."

"Such '[a]llegations of possible future injury do not satisfy the requirements of Art[icle] III' - not, at least, where West has failed to allege facts demonstrating that these 'threatened' future injuries are 'certainly impending,'" the court found.

West's focus against the federal defendants was a memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2013, mapping out the administration's plan to enforce federal drug laws in Colorado and Washington, where voters approved the legalization of recreational-marijuana use.

The memo states that federal agents would prioritize enforcement to keep the drug away from kids while busting drug traffickers, rather than prosecute the full range of federal marijuana violations.

West also claimed that the memorandum failed to consider impacts to "the urban and natural environment," but Judge Bates ruled that he has no basis for arguing that the memo violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

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