Law | National

Interview with attorney about marijuana for tribes in Oklahoma






A cannabis plant. Photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikipedia

The Oklahoman asks attorney Gerald L. Jackson about marijuana in Indian Country:
Q: In October, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it will treat Indian tribes the same way it treats states on the issue of legalized use of marijuana. What are the details of this announcement?

A: Back in 2009, the Justice Department issued the first in a series of policy statements announcing that the federal government will not use its scarce resources to prosecute activities that comply with state marijuana laws under certain conditions. Those conditions include requirements that states implement strong and effective enforcement systems to prevent distribution to minors, prevent criminal activity associated with marijuana sales, and prevent drugged driving, among other things. The 2014 Justice Department memorandum puts tribes on equal footing with states and requires that the U.S. Attorney consult with an Indian tribe considering marijuana legalization on a government-to-government basis to address the requirements of the policy. Despite the Justice Department policy statements, the manufacture, sale and distribution of marijuana is still illegal in all states under federal law. Although more than 20 states have legalized either medical or recreation marijuana use, marijuana is illegal in all of its forms under Oklahoma law.

Get the Story:
Could marijuana grow like casinos in Oklahoma? (The Oklahoman 4/30)

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

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