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Native American Reservations Free to Legalize Marijuana

December 12, 2014  | 

Photo via eggrole/Flickr.
Photo via eggrole/Flickr.

Opening the door for what could be a lucrative and controversial new industry on some Native American reservations, the Justice Department on Thursday told U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands, even in states that ban the practice, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The new guidance, released in a memorandum, will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines, said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General's Subcommittee on Native American Issues.

It remains to be seen how many reservations will take advantage of the policy. Many tribes are opposed to legalizing pot on their lands, and federal officials will continue to enforce the law in those areas, if requested.

Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Tbow426 @ 12/12/2014 9:29 AM

I seem to recall that substance abuse on Reservations was triple or higher than that of other areas of the country. Just what they need...more stoners.

Carlos @ 12/13/2014 8:25 AM

This makes sense. I guess they probably built up enough of an immunity against alcohol, hairspray and pain cans by now. They have to keep these "wards of the state" under control somehow.

I weep for those whose lives this decision will inevitably ruin.

kevCopAz @ 12/13/2014 10:46 AM

What in the world, the Justice Department instead of enforcing laws now promotes braking them? Why would this NOT be a criminal act in itself promoting a criminal enterprise? This world is way upside down. Typical libs, lets just do what we want, ignore the laws we "feel" are wrong and not just have the guts to try and change the laws thru the normal system and take the political heat. The reservations already suffer so much due to substance abuse and WE tax payers carry that bill, this will just cost us the Native Americans more in hurting their culture and people while the tax payer pays the bills! If this is what the American people want then get rid of the anti drug laws and the DEA and take what comes.

Dan @ 12/13/2014 8:12 PM

Please! Marijuana has never been shown to be as dangerous as alcohol hairspray or pain cans (I'm guessing you meant paint cans). The government should not control what you put in your body only the irresponsible actions you take while under the influence. Funny how you stupid conservatives bitch at the liberals for restricting the governments reach when you should be applauding "big brother" for allowing a local government to make their own decisions. Fxcking hypocrites. And kevCopaz you're right, they should absolutely get rid of the DEA and the anti-drug laws.

Capt. Crunch @ 12/13/2014 9:47 PM

It is their own land they should be able to do what they want on it. Marijuana is starting to become legal in some states anyway. I hope it turns out to be a good thing for them and not a criminal problem.

Ima Leprechaun @ 12/14/2014 2:57 AM

In reality Marihuana is the mildest drug on Indian Reservations.

Concerned Citizen @ 12/14/2014 7:45 PM

So does this mean the Minister of Injustice Eric Holder will gives Whites, Christians and Jews "Reservations" to practice their beliefs and are free to use and carry Firearms? Without Federal Government interference?? Because we should keep Arms "undocumented" just like illegal aliens, and pot! Weefer madness! Conservatives do "b!tch" about Big Brother "Dan" but as a Conservative Libertarian I know the meaning of Double Standards. Isn't having a "an Illegal Narcotics" "Legal" in one part of the Country like a Reservation, and Illegal Elsewhere a "Double Standard?" Also I find "Libs" who accuse others of Hypocritical Actions. Are a tad Hypocritical themselves. Dan the Government isn't loosing the "Grip." Big Brother is creating "Chaos" look at the Larger Picture. Laws aren't being enforced like Immigration, DOMA, and no Proper Protocol for Ebola! Thank Obama for that! He's putting everyone at risk! Letting a Pandemic virus, loose and not closing the borders, anyone can come to the USA.

Concerned Citizen @ 12/14/2014 7:52 PM

So does this mean the Minister of Injustice Eric Holder will gives<typo, correction>GIVE

Dan @ 12/15/2014 9:54 AM

Well considering whites and christians in America committed some of the worst atrocities against Native Americans in the name of a false religion with permission they believed was given to them by a god that doesn't exsist ; giving native Americans control of a tiny bit of land is the least we could do. And let me remind you they still don't have compelete control. If you remember world war 2, we did give the Jewish people their own nation. Christians have theirs; its called 'Merica. I really don't understand your point. Why do you put my name in quotes? Are you implying I don't exsist? Chaos, really? You're being more than a tad overdramatic. I don't know of one American infected with Ebola that didn't come from Africa and wasnt aired on the news and neither do you. Laws are being enforced on immigration, you do know there is border patrol right? The law is just not being enforced the way you like. But be greatful, if immigration was enforced by the true "Americans," you'd be deported too. I agree with you on one point; it is a double standard to have marijuana legal at the state level and illegal at the federal level but I fault the politicians for not moving to repeal the law. Maybe if you smoked a little weefer, as you called it, you'd be a little less dramatic.

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