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Closed session at NCAI winter meeting to focus on marijuana

National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby delivered the State of Indian Nations in Washington, D.C., on January 22.

The National Congress of American Indians is hosting a session on marijuana at its winter meeting in Washington, D.C., next week.

The session will focus on the recent Department of Justice policy that could open the door for marijuana in Indian Country. Several tribes have expressed interest in cultivating the drug even though it remains illegal under federal law.

"This breakout session will focus on the information and discussion to assist tribal leaders considering marijuana policy in Indian Country. It will include participation from federal law enforcement officials at Justice and BIA, and the meeting will be closed to press," NCAI said in its draft agenda about the session.

The session comes ahead of the first-ever Tribal Marijuana Conference. Representatives of at least 30 tribes from 13 states have signed up for the February 27 event, an attorney told CityLab.

The next day, Lummi Nation council member Henry Cagey will hold the first meeting of the Tribal Cannabis Association. Both events take place at the Tulalip Resort Casino, owned by the Tulalip Tribes.

“Everyone -- everyone -- is talking about medical marijuana,” Stacey Montooth, a spokesperson for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in Nevada, told CityLab. Her tribe hasn't made a decision either way on the drug.

Get the Story:
Native American Tribes and the Future of Marijuana (CityLab 2/19)

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

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