The Omaha Tribe is the first to consider legalizing marijuana on the territory of its reservation in Nebraska.
The announcement comes as tribal members voted to support marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational purposes. Following the consultative vote tribal leaders are looking to take the next step by authorizing a feasibility study regarding the cultivation of marijuana, as well as sale. The announcement was made by Vernon Miller, the Tribal Chairman.
Taking into consideration that the reservation of the Omaha Tribe is faced with endemic poverty and severely high rates of unemployment, Tribal Chairman Miller stated that the moment is compelling to look into cultivation and sale of marijuana, as well as industrial hemp.
“We’re doing what we can as a sovereign nation to provide jobs”,
The Omaha Tribe is the first to consider legalizing marijuana. Of the four tribes found in Nebraska, the Omaha Tribe has signaled its wish to proceed with all legal actions following the statement of the U.S. Justice Department according to which reservations will be treated under the same conditions as U.S. states currently regulating the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana.
The Nebraska Omaha Tribe isn’t the first to end prohibition. However, other tribes looking into a lucrative industry have faced federal agents raiding tribal operations. In South Dakota, marijuana plants were seized indicating that while the federal level looks indulgently at these operations, states understand enforcement in a different manner.
To avoid such issues, tribal leaders of the Omaha Tribe will meet with the U.S. attorneys from Nebraska and Iowa. The tribe may be sovereign, yet it is tribal police in partnership with U.S. Attorney Office enforcing laws in the reservation.
The Attorney General of Nebraska, Doug Peterson took notice of the votes casted in the Omaha tribe last week. However, he stated that marijuana laws will continue to be enforced by local and state authorities. His statement didn’t refer to the reservation.
The vote was cast on three referendums. Firstly, the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Secondly, the use of marijuana for recreational use. Third, growing industrial hemp for propping employment and revenue.
All three passed, with the first gathering 426 votes in favor and 134 against. The second pooled 352 votes in favor and 240 against.
The results are solely consultative for the tribe council. For the time being, marijuana is illegal on the reservation. The Omaha Tribe covers three Nebraska counties, as well as one Iowa county.
Photo Credits: Pixabay