Native Americans Given Permission to Grow Pot
The United States Justice Department just secured another backbreaking blow to the War on Drugs. Native Americans can now legally grow and sell weed on their own land.
Of course, such an allowance comes with certain stipulations, such as it still remains illegal to sell to minors, it cannot be transported to areas where it remains illegal, and it cannot be grown on public land – to name but a few. However, the fact that it has now become legal for Native Americans to grow and sell cannabis on federally-sanctioned lands is extremely significant. This is because it sets a double standard that cannot last. Why is it ok for some people to be trusted to grow and use marijuana and not others? It is a difference that draws a lot of attention to the foolishness of prolonged cannabis prohibition, and will help campaigners put a bit more weight behind their arguments.
Time To Break Out The Peace Pipe?
Before you go thinking that the US is about to become awash with fields of green, not all tribes want to take up the offer. In recent history, substance abuse has become synonymous within some Native American communities, and it has been a cause for concern amongst their leaders. As such, some tribes may elect to continue federal prohibition, for which the US government has graciously volunteered to continue providing enforcement in these areas. Even in states such as Washington and Colorado, tribes can decide to have weed outlawed on their land.
At the other end of the scale, some tribes will be looking at how such a move could be used to maximise their revenue, in the same way they do with gambling and tobacco laws, whilst others will look to making it a cultural and economic staple of their community.
One thing we know for certain is that the further distinction this decision casts on the difference between state and federal law, as well as Native American and non-Native American people’s ability to obtain weed, is sure to end up working in the favour of the legalisation movement. The fact is, this new power has been handed down with very little persuasion, and it greatly undermines the Justice Department’s ability to properly enforce prohibition. Cannabis prohibition is dying.