Pot Notes: Flandreau Backs Bud for Bucks; Federal Law Still Supreme

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!

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe flag
I suppose asking what you’ve got in that peace pipe would be impolite….

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.)

24 Responses to Pot Notes: Flandreau Backs Bud for Bucks; Federal Law Still Supreme

  1. “Why didn’t we think of this first?” – Deadwood Chamber of Commerce.

  2. mike from iowa

    Opium den is already taken.

  3. Daniel Buresh

    So does AG Jackley have jurisdiction over non-natives on reservations? The entire legal situation seems to baffle me. A native signs a contract with a non-tribal business, the tribal courts can make that contract null and void on the basis that whites have no authority and there is no recourse outside of the rez. On the other hand, AG Jackley says that non-native south dakotans can’t participate and as a white man, I have no recourse against a native when something occurs on the rez outside of tribal court. So, do native laws apply to whites when on the rez or not? Or is this strictly from a federal stand point?…and state authorities cannot arrest individuals who participate in a legal environment? Feds just need to get off their butts and update the laws for everyone. This is becoming a joke.

  4. Sovereign nation, sez who. Good luck with allowing that.

  5. Roger Cornelius

    Yes Jackley has jurisdiction over non-Indians on the reservation.
    Tribes offer the same protections to off reservation businesses as they do local business. Tribes and the state both have UCC codes that they operate under. New and used cars, homes, and other high ticket items are financed by off reservation banks, etc. Do you think those new cars on the reservation would be there if there was not some form of protection for the business owner?
    Look at it this way Daniel, the tribal nations of South Dakota and the state have shared jurisdiction in many areas, including gambling compacts, revenue collection, and health and human services and more.
    In the past, tribes have returned natives and non-natives alike to the state when a warrant has issued for arrests, there is not a hidden sanctuary that you imagine. Most jurisdiction questions have to be handled on an individual basis to determine if an individual falls under state, tribal, or federal jurisdiction and that is way it should be when dealing nation to nation or state to nation.
    By the way, it was Kristi Noem that voted against WAVI law that would have allowed non-Natives to fall under the jurisdiction of the tribe in domestic abuse cases, naturally the state would not or does not prosecute those cases.

  6. Mr. C points out some interesting points. If businesses didn’t have protection for certain contracts onto the rezes they’d not do loans for all the new cars or shut off electrical and things for people who chose to not pay up and hide out there in shangrilaland. There are obviously a lot of shared jurisdictions or society couldn’t work. You can’t have a Berlin Wall, fellows.

  7. How the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation will get seeds and clones while being surrounded by Jackley-booted thugs remains a mystery. Banking will be a challenge but they might be able to move the cash through the casino.

  8. Mr. kurtz, I envision you in a black Pontiac Firebird wearing your trademark hat and leather Jesus sandals running interference for the delivery vehicles that will have to carry product and cash in and out of the rez.

  9. Anyone want to bet we’ll see a surge in “sobriety checkpoints” on Highways 13, 32, and 34?

  10. Charlie Richardson

    Does this mean a trip to the casino will now not only allow us non smokers the privilege of inhaling second hand cigarette smoke, but also that wonderfully pungent aroma of “legalized” dope? Brilliant idea! Just brilliant!

  11. Charlie, if the casino is designated as a pot=use area, yes, you’ll get that smoke, too. And if the Highway Patrol sets up a sobriety checkpoint on 34 and smells that smoke on your clothes, watch out!

    Of course, being good businesspeople, the casino operators will likely recognize that risk and keep the designated usage areas separate from profitable non-using casino patrons. I know, they don’t keep cigarette smoke separate from you, but the pot smoke could have legal implications for their non-using patrons, so the casino operators may pay more attention.

  12. bearcreekbat

    Cory, you might already be aware that in Indianapolis v. Edmund the SCOTUS ruled that drug checkpoints are unconstitutional. While alcohol sobriety checkpoints are lawful, drug checkpoints are not. Hence if the SD Highway sets up fake sobriety checkpoints to interdict pot coming off the reservation, they would be in violation of the 4th Amendment according to Edmund, and subject to an injunction and damages. Any evidence seized during such a stop should be suppressed.


  13. bearcreekbat

    Cory, here is another interesting and potentially important case I happened on to. Last year the Arizona Supreme Court held that the presence of a particular marijuana metabolite in the blood does not prove that the driver was impaired. There is a metabolite that shows you are high, but it changes quickly into a different metabolite. Check it out:


  14. Bear! I didn’t know the Court had nuked drug checkpoints. How well would a court be able to determine that a sobriety checkpoint anywhere within ten miles of Flandreau was a “fake” sobriety checkpoint really set up to intercept marijuana users?

  15. This is unfortunate. If anyone should know about the devastation caused by addiction it should be the tribes. I’d really like to see sustainable and environmentally green economic development that could be a resource for those of us that are non-natives but this is not the type of green economic development I was thinking of.

    Counselor Concerns Over Legalizing Pot on SanfordLand aka KELO http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/counselor-concerns-over-legalizing-pot/?id=181419

    If the Federal govt sees a trend where there is an increase in minors using pot along with other issues there is a good chance they will put the kibosh on legalization nationwide. I suspect there already is as a result of legalization.

  16. bearcreekbat

    Oh Lynn, Lynn, why won’t you consider or respond to the links I posted showing that marijuana has literally saved the lives of so many kids with seizure disorders. Unfortunately, I suspect that every time I point this stuff out to you, you put your fingers in your ears and start chanting “la, la, la, la, la, la.”

    As an earlier poster pointed out, this is the technique of the anti-vaccine folks. The heck with the kids, unless we can use them to support our world view. So sad.

  17. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Another social experiment with unfortunate social costs that will be downplayed.

  18. BCB,

    It’s simply a waste of time to engage with those who are addicted, can’t seem to function without pot, in denial or recreational users of pot. They will do everything they can to justify their legal use. We have a completely different approach to life.

  19. Neal,

    Incorrect. You better do some more research.

  20. larry kurtz

    Neal is correct. Cannabis is far safer than tobacco and sugar, the real gateway drugs.

  21. bearcreekbat

    Lynn, thanks for your response. Just for clarification, the stories about medical marijuana helping children all stated that the part of marijuana that stops or reduces seizures in kids is not psychoactive and cannot get the kids high. That sort of undermines your theory about those folks who advocate legalized medical marijuana.

    “The biggest misconception about treating a child like little Charlotte is most people think that we’re getting her high, most people think she’s getting stoned,” Josh Stanley said, stressing his plant’s low THC levels. “Charlotte is the most precious little girl in the world to me. I will do anything for her.”