Native Americans Fight To Ban Marijuana in a Quarter of Washington State

Voters in 2012 elected to abolish the prohibition against pot in both Colorado and Washington states, but the latter is only this month issuing its first legal weed licenses to dispensaries that will grow and process marijuana. If the Yakama Nation has its say, however, then a large chunk of Washington will reject the new state law.

The 10,000-member Yakama Nation has already said pot will stay illegal on around 1.2 million acres of reservation in central Washington where state law is trumped by local rules, but Reuters reported this week that the tribe is considering “a bold move that could test the limits of tribal sovereignty” by seeking to keep weed outlawed on another 10.8 million acres of ancestral land.

According to Reuters journalist Jonathan Kaminsky, the Yakama want to make sure the cultivation and selling of marijuana remains against the law on a huge stretch of Washington that was ceded to the United States government through an 1855 treaty, but where the tribe members maintain hunting, food-gathering and fishing rights.

The Yakama has previously won similar legal battles, Kaminsky wrote, including one in which it successfully fought off efforts to put a landfill on the ceded land. This time, however, the tribe wants to make sure marijuana remains outlawed on a chunk of land that now includes parts of 10 counties across the state.

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  1. Anonymous on

    Because they hired Kevin Sabet and Project SAM to form their policies

  2. BrianKerr on

    The natives there are immoral human enslavers. Making claims of ownership on other people, they are pure filth. For this immoral act they will suffer violence which they bring upon themselves. They are idiots.

  3. Anonymous on

    Given their high rates of alcoholism, cannabis would be a safer alternative substance.

  4. Anonymous on

    they said it was because of the treaty. they most likely dont want any legal problems

  5. Sylvia on

    What reason does the tribe have for wanting to keep marijuana illigal?

  6. Anonymous on

    the chief must have gotten a bribed by the government.

  7. Anonymous on

    I think somebody is taking a big paycheck….

  8. N. BUFFALO on

    TOBACCO!!! Being Native American I would know.

  9. Anonymous on

    Ban Marijuana? Hey wait a minute! What DID the Native Americans have in their “peace pipes”?

  10. Anonymous on

    or growing tobacco that they smuggle into canada while not paying the taxes on it

  11. John on

    They too busy staying drunk.

  12. Anonymous on

    I wish this article said why the natives feel that way.

  13. Anonymous on

    Congratulations Yakima tribe, you win the reefer madness award!