Senators Urge Biden Attorney General To Respect Indian Tribes’ Marijuana Policies

Senators Urge Biden Attorney General To Respect Indian Tribes’ Marijuana Policies
MJ moment

A coalition of nine U.S. senators on Monday sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, urging him to direct federal prosecutors to not interfere with marijuana legalization policies enacted by Native American tribes. The letter, led by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), requests that the Justice Department “respect the inherent sovereignty of Tribal governments and cease the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act on Tribal land as it pertains to the growth, possession, and use of cannabis for medicinal, agricultural, and recreational purposes, where those Tribes have legalized this activity for its own members and those acting in compliance with Tribal law.” “Tribal governments that have chosen to legalize cannabis have determined what is best for their members and residents on their land, and how best to prioritize their law enforcement resources,” it says. “The Department of Justice should respect these sovereign decisions and reallocate their investigative and prosecutorial resources accordingly.” The letter notes that there was previous Obama-era DOJ guidance on prosecutorial discretion for tribal governments that opted to legalize cannabis, but that was rescinded by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018, along with a separate memo urging prosecutors not to go after states that established regulated cannabis markets. “This discretion rightfully recognized the inherent sovereignty of Tribal governments to regulate their own affairs,” the senators wrote of the now-rescinded guidance. Beside Heinrich, the letter was also signed by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). While the tribe-specific DOJ guidance was rescinded, the federal government has generally taken a hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement in states that have chosen to legalize the plant. Last year, however, a federal agency raided a small, home cannabis garden of a…

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Source : Senators Urge Biden Attorney General To Respect Indian Tribes’ Marijuana Policies

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