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Jacqueline Keeler: Tribes showing interest in growing marijuana






A dispensary in Denver, Colorado. Photo from O'Dea / Wikipedia

Jacqueline Keeler reports on tribal interest in cultivating marijuana in Indian Country:
At the very first Tribal Marijuana Conference held last weekend in Tulalip, WA, the former chairman of the Moapa Paiute tribe, William Anderson, tall and dignified and walking with a cane, explained to me what brought him: “I was just laying in bed in pain. I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom or go to the kitchen because I was in so much pain.”

An infection in his foot had spread to his spine and deteriorated the bone, exposing nerves. Doctors replaced the bone with titanium steel. For two years, the infection, even with prescription creams and antibiotics, kept coming back. The Indian Health Service recommended amputation of his foot.

“I just prayed to the Great Creator, ‘Please, help me with my pain. Please, help me get up so I can function as a normal human being.’”

Then he remembered a documentary he had seen years earlier about medical marijuana, and how it was used by cancer patients for pain relief. He ordered a topical cannabis ointment, and when he applied it he felt immediate relief.

“This cannot just be about making a quick buck, but about economic development and being more independent, not dependent on the government, which I don’t like but is unfortunately the reality for our people,” Anderson explained.

Get the Story:
Jacqueline Keeler: The medical marijuana business could save Native American reservations (Quartz 3/10)

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