Monday, March 16, 2020

Oglala Sioux vote to legalize cannabis

Oglala Sioux Tribe Legalizes Medicinal and Recreational Cannabis | MG Magazine - Danny Reed:

March 13, 2020 - "A referendum to legalize both medicinal and recreational cannabis use has been approved in South Dakota.... This week the Oglala Sioux Tribe, one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota people, voted to pass a referendum that would allow cannabis on the Pine Ridge Reservation ... which, according to the Associated Press, will make it the 'only tribe to set up a cannabis market in a state where it’s otherwise illegal.'

"In its next steps, the Tribe Council will work on establishing cannabis laws and setting up a regulatory framework. According to initial plans, the tribe will not be directly involved in production or retail, but will issue licenses and institute a retail tax. The council is expected to formally discuss regulations on March 31....

"The Oglala may soon offer the only legal THC products available anywhere in the region. Cannabis is illegal not only in South Dakota, but in neighboring states as well....

"Tribe President Julian Bear Runner sees cannabis legalization as a way for the tribe to shed some of its problems related to violence and meth addiction. Without adequate federal funding, Bear Runner believes the tribe needs to think outside of the box to raise enough revenue.....

"The official results of this week’s vote will be certified by the end of the month. Voting precincts have reported 82 percent of tribe members voted to legalize medicinal cannabis while 74 percent approved recreational use. A separate proposal to legalize alcohol, which President Bear Runner recently referred to as 'poison,' failed approval by 12 points. Bear Runner referred to cannabis as a 'healing plant.'

"The move by the Oglala may challenge tribal sovereignty and attract negative attention from federal authorities. Currently, cannabis is still illegal under U.S. law though Scott James, Oglala Lakota’s attorney general, believes the federal government may have bigger issues to worry about."

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