The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is offering marijuana proponents a chance to toke up before the medical cannabis measure makes the ballot. The tribe voted last week to let folks smoke one joint per visit at a designated facility (House of Hash? Hazy Hogan? TeePee Whee? Let the naming contest begin!). Tribal President Tony Reider talks like Dennis Daugaard and Pat Costello when he tells us the number-one reason for his tribe to promote pot: money!
Reider says the executive committee decided to approve the use of recreational marijuana on the reservation as a new economic opportunity for the tribe.
“The positives are revenue, money and economic development…were talking millions of dollars. It is a great revenue producing machine and opportunity,” Reider said.
The tribe says it is striving to be ahead of the curve, so if marijuana is legalized in the state or nationwide, they’ll already have a supply in place to begin mass distribution.
“We always take every opportunity that hits our table to keep the tribe moving. A lot of times it’s in areas that we use our sovereignty to be able to do that and take advantage of these types of opportunities, because being ahead of the curve is always more profitable than being behind it,” Reider said [Bridget Bennett, “Marijuana on South Dakota Reservation: What You Need to Know,” KSFY-TV, 2015.06.15].
Millions of dollars of economic development: how can anyone stand in the way of that?
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Section 22 of South Dakota’s proposed medical cannabis initiative appears to protect employes certified to use marijuana for medical purposes from being penalized by their employers for positive drug tests. But if the boss finds Flandreau Fiber in your pee, you can still lose your job. Even in pot-favoring Colorado, the Colorado Supreme Court just held that federal law allows an employer can fire an employee who tests positive for pot. As Attorney General Marty Jackley eagerly reminds us, federal law overrides state law. (Funny that Jackley doesn’t take that position when it comes to the Affordable Care Act.)