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Authorities seize marijuana from tribal operations in California






A view of the marijuana farm on the XL Rancheria in California. Photo from U.S. Attorney's Office

Federal and local authorities raided two marijuana operations on tribal land in California.

More than 12,000 marijuana plants and more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana were seized this morning, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California said. But no one has been charged with any crimes.

The marijuana was being grown on the Alturas Rancheria and on the XL Rancheria, a reservation that is home to the Pit River Tribe. The Alturas Rancheria and the Pit River Tribe are closely related but maintain separate federal recognition.


A view of the greenhouses that were used to grow marijuana on the XL Rancheria in California. Photo from U.S. Attorney's Office

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But the Department of Justice issued a policy late last year that could allow tribes to legalize the drug.

The Alturas Rancheria informed local authorities in March that it was going to start a medicinal marijuana farm, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. The U.S. Attorney's Office in May warned the two tribes that their operation "is a violation of federal law" and "subject to possible federal enforcement action, including criminal prosecution."

The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with local and other federal authorities, participated in the raid today.

Get the Story:
Federal agents raid marijuana farm on Pit River tribal land (The Redding Record-Searchlight 7/8)
Federal agents raid 2 marijuana grows on tribal land in Modoc County (KRCR 7/8)
Marijuana Operation on Pit River Land Raided (Indian Country Today 7/8)

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

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