The rez ia ghetto no different than Soweto, the Warsaw Ghetto where Jews were confined during WW2, or any to be found in any part of the world – a testament to American apartheid.
An unfortunate reality is as a people we don’t have a universally recognized equivalent of a Gandhi or a Mandela.
And while some personages like Dennis Banks, the late Russell Means, and Leonard Peltier may attempt to to present themselves as such the truth is they are the antithesis of what it means to be a devoted and selfless champion.
Centuries ago we were introduced to alcohol and what proved to be it’s ruinous affects – alcohol, a control mechanism intended to sap of us our will, common sense, dignity, and ultimately to remain culturally who we have historically been.
We need only look around to see how that turned out and in doing so say no when the issue of legalizing the sale of alcohol on the rez arises.
Now it’s about the legalization of marijuana accompanied by the familiar refrain characterizing it as an economic stimulus.
Our good buddies in D.C. specifically the DOJ, say it is all about government to government relationships – something to do with an ephemeral “sovereignty” – but I need only be reminded of former Senator and erstwhile presidential candidate George McGovern’s words in the midst of WK2 to the effect that there are no sovereign countries within the boundaries of the U.S. – an attitude that hasn’t changed regardless of rhetoric, presidents, or policies.
If the rez were an open society rather than a closed one whatever stipulations associated with legalization MIGHT work, but it isn’t and they won’t.
Marty Two Bull’s drawing in all likelihood is prescient of what will become the reality.
The flow of marijuana globally is controlled by cartels and warlords, each vying for territory and a greater slice of the pie.
It isn’t going to make any difference whether there are policies set in place or not. There will be those on the rez seeking to dominate and control sales looking for a slice of the pie, and there will be associated crimes committed by rez warlords and cartels.
Does marijuana have medicinal qualities? Apparently so, but then so does opium and a multitude of poisonous or addictive substances used in small amounts – so should they be legalized as well?
Is marijuana “organic”? In it’s natural state obviously – but every pot smoker I know says it is increasingly doctored with “additives” to increase the high and something of a crap shoot as to “purity” when buying. Kind of sounds like a GMO to me.
I’ve heard the argument that decriminalization in effect reduces crime, maybe so, but I think the jury is still out on that.
If society is concerned about reducing crime through legalization what will be next? Should human trafficking and the sex trade be decriminalized?
How about rape and the abuse of women and children – should the nation “welcome a conversation” about those things?
We’re going to hear a lot over the next few weeks about pot has been a part of the nations long held traditions, a lot of it pure unadulterated bs.
Comparisons made between it’s use and that of peyote, part of the commercialization propaganda, and statistically emanating in the majority from the non indigenous who know little or nothing about us or our traditions.
Peyote for example historically has been used as a “sacrament” during ceremonies, and as a medicinal agent in some cases – didn’t have a thing to do with getting “recreationally” high.
The Native American Church was for all intents and purposes founded by Quanah Parker, beginning in the sixties with the hippie movement it began to change as the result of being co opted – in my opinion little remains that is representative of what it formerly was.
It like everything else having to do with the nations is being co opted and commercialized.
Change merely for the sake of chasing the dollar isn’t what we should be about we ought to be striving for meaningful change that leads to communal well being.
I’ve lost friends to alcohol, drugs, and crime – experienced the ensuing darkness of grief most of us are acquainted with, I don’t want to lose anymore.