The US Department Of Justice announced in a recent memo that the US government will no longer prosecute Native American Tribes for the possession and sale of marijuana.
The memo starts by saying that “With a number of states legalizing marijuana for use and production, some tribes have requested guidance on the enforcement of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) on tribal lands by the United States Attorneys’ offices.”
However, the memo also mentions that there were a number of key areas that they were going to continue to investigate, even within the tribal territories.
According to the memo:
The Cole Memorandum provides guidance to United States Attorneys on the proper prioritization of marijuana enforcement in their districts given the number of states that have moved to legalize marijuana for medicinal, agricultural, or recreational use.
Specifically, the Cole Memorandum lists eight federal law enforcement priorities where the Department will focus its limited investigative and prosecutorial resources in all states.
These eight priorities are as follows:
- Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;
- Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;
- Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
- Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or illegal activity;
- Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;
- Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
- Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
- Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
The tribes that exist throughout North America are very diverse, many of them with different internal governments that function much in the same way that state governments do. Some tribes will likely choose to legalize the product, while others will be swayed by drug war propaganda and fears of drug abuse.
The Yakama Reservation in Washington state, for example, has banned the use and distribution of marijuana within its borders, because they believe that legalization of the substance will somehow exacerbate the very serious alcohol issues that some within the tribe struggle with. Many other tribes see marijuana legalization as a new source of revenue, which could help them achieve more financial independence.
In an email to Marijuana.com, Erik Altieri, Communications Director for NORML pointed out that native tribes should have the right to decide what happens on their own lands.
[quote_box_center]“Having the Department of Justice take a stance honoring the sovereignty of Native American tribes when it comes to how they set their own marijuana policy is refreshing. The individuals living on these reservations deserve the same freedom to decide how they chose to handle marijuana on their own lands as we are currently providing the fifty states under current Justice Department memos,” Altieri said.[/quote_box_center]
Marijuana has been proven to be one of the safest drugs known to man, less harmful than alcohol or anything you will find in a pharmacy. This plant has been called a miracle drug by many and is quickly growing in popularity for its medicinal properties. Yet despite the growing evidence of the incredible advantages and benign nature of cannabis, there are powerful business and political interests that are very intent on keeping this drug illegal.
Marijuana can cure cancer, heal countless other physical ailments, reduce our dependence on oil based products and prescription pharmaceuticals. All research shows that this plant is not only harmless, but can be extremely beneficial to our environment and our society. Hemp was even used to clean up radiation after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.