As states legalize medical marijuana, one issue that is rarely brought up is the status of the drug on Native American lands, which have their own sovereignty and laws. Well now one tribe in Montana has taken steps to allow their members to use cannabis.
Executive Committee and the Tribal Business Council of the Blackfeet Nation, a Native American tribe composed of over 17,000 members mostly located in northwest Montana, decided to decriminalize medical marijuana possession on tribal lands. This would mean members of the tribe would be able to access Montana's legal medical marijuana and use it on tribal lands.
It appears the main justification for making the rule change was research into how marijuana helps people with substance abuse issues. Native Americans are often more prone to abusing alcohol or other substances, and the hope is that allowing Blackfeet Nation members to use marijuana, they'll be less likely to become addicted to worse drugs.
The issue of Native American tribes and marijuana legalization is a tricky one. Tribes are allowed to make their own laws and rules separate from the stats they are located in. However, they're also still under the jurisdiction of the federal government. So while many tribes may want to adopt laws permitting marijuana legalization, they fear doing so will risk the wrath of the feds. And that worry has only increased with Jeff Sessions taking over as Attorney General.
But perhaps this will be the first domino to fall in more tribes embracing marijuana legalization.
(h/t High Times)