In an historic move to respect Native American sovereignty earlier this month, the US Department of Justice issued a memo instructing US attorneys to not interfere with tribes cultivating or selling cannabis on reservation lands. The caveat is that the tribes have to be in conformity with state law, limiting the new policy to states that have legalized (Colorado, Washington) or have strong medical marijuana programs (California, Montana). Tribes must also maintain “robust and effective regulatory systems,” as John Walsh, US attorney for Colorado, told the Los Angeles Times. But US attorney for North Dakota Timothy Purdon, the Attorney General’s point-man on Native American Issues, added: “The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations.” US News & World Report even speculated: “Marijuana may displace casinos as reservation cash cows.”
A look at the realities on the ground in the USA’s cannabis heartland, however, may curb such enthusiasm. In Northern California’s Emerald Triangle, tribes have mostly been expressing outrage that guerilla growers are using their lands without permission, contributing to environmental degradation by punching roads through forests and spraying pesticides. The Yurok and Hoopa tribes have in recent years cooperated with the Humbioldt County sheriff, California National Guard and federal authorities in eradication campaigns.
In response to the new DoJ policy, the Yurok tribe told Humboldt’s Lost Coast Outpost: “Marijuana cultivation within the Yurok Reservation is prohibited. The Yurok Tribe strongly opposes marijuana cultivation on and close to the Reservation, because of the horrific environmental abuses and water thefts that are associated with the illicit industry. ” It boasted of eradicating dozens of grons in last summer’s “Operation Yurok,” and asserted: “The green rush will not become another Gold Rush on the Yurok Reservation.”
In October, Yurok Tribe Executive Director Troy Fletcher appeared before the Humboldt Board of Supervisors asking for a unified front in support of the tribe’s a zero-tolerance policy for cannabis grows impacting tribal lands.
It should also be noted that the DoJ memo is technically a non-binding “guidance,” and also imposes such inevitable conditions as prohibiting cannabis sales to minors.
California’s Emerald Growers Association is trying to establish environmental standards for the cannabis industry, which can hopefully heal the rift between growers and tribal authorities. In contrast, the growers who invade tribal lands are presumably mere capitalists with little ecological consciousness, or may even be linked to the international criminal cartels now said to be getting in on the Emerald Triangle action. Hopefully the old-school hippie growers can take some leadership on this issue. It would be a sad irony if the federal Justice Department proved more respectful of Native American sovereignty than the cannabis growers.
Georgia Cops Called About Potential Domestic Abuse Arrest Actress Erica Mena For Weed Instead
Dispensaries in British Columbia Told to Shut Down Before Legalization
Canadian Schools Struggling With Cannabis Education Ahead of Legalization
An American’s Quest to Find Fourth Meal in Canada
First Ever Trial to Study the Effects of Microdosing LSD Began This Month
What Do The Colors of Marijuana Mean?
Coca-Cola in Talks to Make the Next CBD-Infused Beverage
Canada Estimates $1 Billion in Legal Cannabis Sales in First Three Months
Business5 days ago
Walmart Joins List of Mega-Chains Considering New Marijuana Products
Legalization6 days ago
Want Cannabis to be Reclassified? Tell The Trump Administration
Sponsored7 days ago
Everything You Wanted to Know About CBD Tinctures
News6 days ago
Denver’s Psilocybin Initiative Moves Forward to Signature Gathering Phase
News7 days ago
The United Kingdom Will Have Medical Cannabis Within a Month
Medical Marijuana7 days ago
Riviera Creek Brings Science and Tech to Ohio’s New Medical Cannabis Market
Edibles6 days ago
Washington State Cannabis Board Bans Most Weed-Infused Candy
Culture6 days ago
Cannabis Sommeliers are Officially on the Brink of Existence