Dennis Chappabitty: Tribes should be able to set marijuana laws

Dennis G. Chappabitty. Photo by Linda C. Amelia / ChapLaw

Attorney Dennis G. Chappabitty, a member of the Comanche Nation, urges tribes to take a closer look at the burgeoning marijuana industry:
Tribes are posed with a dilemma - whether the cannabis plant offers Tribes and their members a chance to enter into the Universe of Healing through the Great Spirit’s plants or whether we will keep our “mind set” closed to growing this medicine plant. I strongly urge Tribes and Tribal Peoples to learn about the healing properties of the cannabis plant and not just condemn it.

Throughout “Indian Country” Tribes should be actively involved in the effort to urge the State and Federal legislative processes that are overwhelmingly headed toward the legalization of medicinal and recreational use of the cannabis plant to include Tribes so that they can regulate cannabis like a State without federal interference. Otherwise, the door will slam shut and Tribes will not be able to exercise their own sovereign decisions in the future to walk into this multi-billion dollar industry.

“Big pharma” gets billions of dollars annually by radiating and injecting chemicals produced by their industry into human bodies. Yet, a natural plant, cannabis, is condemned by many Tribes and Tribal Peoples as a bad “gateway” drug. There needs to be health and wellness cannabis workshops in “Indian Country” to alleviate the cannabis “mystery” and lessen the ignorance of our Native Peoples about the properly regulated, beneficial and medicinal uses of the cannabis plant and what it can give to Indian Country.

Further, there is a confusing proliferation of marijuana conferences that propose to give to their attendee’s advice and direction on how to grow the best plants for lawful purposes.

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Dennis G. Chappabitty: Let's Learn About Medicinal Cannabis (Indian Country Today 9/29)

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