Feds Give Tribes Green Light to Grow and Sell Marijuana on Tribal Lands

The U.S. Justice Department announced last week that they will not enforce federal marijuana laws on federally recognized tribes that choose to allow it as long as they meet eight federal guidelines, including that marijuana not be sold to minors and not be transported to areas that prohibit it. Local tribes, such as the Hoopa and Yurok Tribes, have strict laws preventing marijuana cultivation and the Justice Department’s recent announcement will not change individual tribal laws. Only the tribes themselves can do that. In Hoopa, a petition was filed on Monday morning to repeal the Tribe’s marijuana prohibition law. If the petition receives the requisite number of signatures it will be placed on a special election ballot to be voted on by Hoopa Valley Tribal Members./Photo courtesy of Arizona Medical Marijuana Community.A U.S. Department of Justice memorandum released last week opens the window for federally recognized tribes to grow and sell marijuana on tribal lands, raising a long debated issue among local tribes that work to suppress large-scale grows because of environmental damage and criminal activity. The memorandum prompted Hoopa Valley tribal member and former tribal chairman Clifford Lyle Marshall, Sr., to file a petition to repeal the Hoopa tribe’s law that prohibits marijuana cultivation on the reservation. Read More →

VOICES: It’s Time to Move

I write in response to the Times-Standard article, “DOJ says Indian tribes can grow and sell marijuana” (Dec. 12, 2014), the North Coast Journal article, “The Revolution Starts Here” (12/11/14), and in anticipation of the TRT’s coverage of this issue. The Department of Justice decision that tribes can grow and sell cannabis as long as they follow the same federal conditions as laid out for states that have legalized cannabis is truly a game changer for Indian tribes and a tremendous economic opportunity for our tribal citizens. I was disappointed in the knee jerk responses from the Hoopa and Yurok leadership, without giving a second thought to the economic opportunity that the tribes have been presented with. Because of this response, I have submitted to the Election Board a petition that states: Read More →