Federal Marijuana Enforcement On Tribal Lands Is ‘Horrible Misappropriation’ Of Resources, Senator Tells Interior Secretary

Federal Marijuana Enforcement On Tribal Lands Is ‘Horrible Misappropriation’ Of Resources, Senator Tells Interior Secretary
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The Biden administration’s interior secretary says she understands the need to take an “administrative approach” when it comes to Tribal sovereignty and federal marijuana enforcement, stressing that her department is “not ignoring” requests to exercise discretion so that tribes are able to set their own cannabis policies without undue interference. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who is the first Native American to serve in a cabinet position, was pressed on the issue at a hearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) criticized the use of departmental funds to interfere in Tribal marijuana program, especially given the need to prioritize combating violent crime and solving cases of missing Indigenous people. He specifically referenced a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) raid of a small, home cannabis garden of a medical marijuana patient last year on Tribal land in his state of New Mexico. The governor of Pueblo of Picuris told Marijuana Moment at the time that he felt the action by BIA, which falls under Interior, represented a federal double standard in cannabis enforcement. “Why, instead of focusing on this crisis [of violent crime] that is truly a crisis, are limited BIA resources being used to enforce federal cannabis laws on reservations where cannabis has already been legalized by the sovereign tribe?” the senator asked the secretary. Haaland said that she believes “very strongly that we should respect Tribal laws and work in partnership with tribes on their public safety priorities,” adding that tribal communities understand the unique challenges that they face and where resources should be allocated. Watch the senator and secretary discuss Tribal marijuana policy and federal enforcement priorities in the video below, starting at 1:13:37: “Of course, this question also involves the authority and policy of the Department of Justice, and I respect that we…

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Source : Federal Marijuana Enforcement On Tribal Lands Is ‘Horrible Misappropriation’ Of Resources, Senator Tells Interior Secretary

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