Ever since the U.S. Justice Department announced last year that they were allowing Native American tribes to grow and sell cannabis on reservation lands, several tribes have taken a crack at legalization, with varied results.
Now the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon have voted to allow marijuana growing on their reservation; the cannabis itself will be sold at tribe-owned stores throughout the state.
“Our main purpose is to create jobs on the reservation and produce revenue for the tribes,” said Don Sampson, a member of the tribes’ economic development corporation. “We think we will have a model other tribes will look to as they investigate this business and industry.”
According to officials, over 80% of tribe members who voted last week approved of the plan to build a 36,000-square-foot greenhouse on the reservation. Officials hope the greenhouse will create more than 80 jobs and some $26 million in sales for the tribe-owned retail shops in Oregon.
If you’re looking for economic activity, cannabis is a no-brainer. The demand is already there, it just needs a legal supply. It’s not like trying to build a new industry with a new product; most people know what cannabis is, and a lot of people are already willing to pay money to purchase it.
The debate goes on as to whether it’s fair that Native Americans were given an opportunity that most other U.S. citizens are not. Many would say we owe them something; of course, the same logic can be applied to African Americans as well. Why can’t they grow weed legally if Native Americans can? After all, did not both races get totally screwed by the U.S. government?
In the end, I like to think of it this way: wherever legalization happens is a good thing. More freedom is a good thing. If you can get it, take advantage of it.