Is this a sign of surrender on the part of the feds in regard to marijuana legalization? The Washington Post reports:
The Justice Department said Thursday it will no longer prosecute federal laws regulating the growing or selling of marijuana on reservations, even when state law bans the drug [emphasis added].
Commenting on the ruling, Timothy Purdum of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Dakota explained:
“…federal prosecutors will not enforce federal pot laws as long as reservations meet the same guidelines as states that have opted for legalization.”
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean pot dispensaries will soon be like casinos on Native American reservations. In fact, Oregon U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall explains in an interview with the AP that:
“…the guidelines are a response to an inquiry from tribal governments wanting to know whether the Department of Justice would back tribal pot bans in states where recreational use is legal – currently Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska.”
It’s significant news indeed – some reservations have expressed an interest in allowing the cannabis industry in, so the fact that the feds are taking a hands off approach and letting the local tribal councils decide for themselves is welcomed news indeed.