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Keweenaw Bay Indian Community weighs marijuana referendum






Huron Bay in Michigan. Photo from KBIC Natural Resources Department

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of Michigan is working on a referendum to legalize marijuana for recreational use, The Marquette Mining Gazette reports.

The referendum is still in the development stage but the effort is already seeing resistance because only medical uses are permitted in Michigan. President Warren "Chris" Swartz Jr. had a preliminary meeting with state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who apparently questioned whether the tribe could legalize the drug.

"I said 'think what you want, but we were elected to follow those referendums,'" Swartz said at a tribal council meeting on Saturday, the paper reported.

Swartz acknowledged that state laws could be an issue. In announcing a new policy towards the drug in Indian Country, the Department of Justice said "preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states."

"It's going to be a long process," Treasurer Doreen Blaker said at the meeting, the paper reported. She urged the tribe to consider legalizing hemp for industrial purposes.

Get the Story:
KBIC looks to boost casino business (The Marquette Mining Gazette 3/16)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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