One of the concerns I’ve expressed about legalizing marijuana and it’s cultivation on the rez is the influx of certain elements – I can’t count the number of obvious lay around do nothing pot heads and outright dopers who have approached me asking how they go about enrolling in tribal membership, and no small number strangers or fleeting acquaintances.
My response is and will remain to get out of my face.
They see the rez as some sort of garden of pot Eden and the move is on to portray the nations as having engaged in a long running pot and peyote party, the original “stoners”, something else anyone with a nickels worth of sense could have predicted.
Anyone with a nickels worth of sense probably did understand but there’s money to made and that’s the bottom line.
The cultivation of pot on the rez is being touted as the latest vehicle to boost tribal economies – we’ll soon all be driving Cadillac Escalades and living in plush condos – movin’ on up like the Jeffersons.
Basically the same fantasy used to promote casinos – well, casinos have generated some revenue but also additional problems, and it will be exactly the same way with pot.
All defenses will be predicated on the concept of sovereignty and spiral downward into you’re either for it or against it ignoring the absurdity of any such claim.
Interesting to me the ongoing discussion about “colonization” and how the word is predominantly employed as a perjorative and yet here we go eager to colonize if a buck is waved around.
Apparently valid legal reasons existed for the raid, and also apparently should have been anticipated if the Menominee acknowledged a “dispute” did exist and had offered to destroy a portion of the crop.
If that’s true then I submit the Menominee should have addressed the problem proactively in the best interests of their people. They should have never allowed any non tribal member to plant or tend so much as a single non industrial seed if they in fact did – and that includes “growers form Colorado” who I seriously doubt were tribal members.
As the articles illustrate:
“The investigation into the marijuana fields revealed that individuals other than Menominee Tribe Members planted and were tending to the marijuana plants located on tribal land,”
“executed federal search warrants on a large unlawful marijuana grow operation on tribal land and seized what agents describe as approximately 30,000 marijuana plants weighing a total of several thousand pounds.”
Doesn’t sound like a solely Menominee enterprise does it? Sounds like the presence of those “elements” I mentioned at the top of the blog.
Personally I don’t care if people smoke pot or not, I don’t care if it’s legal or not, and for as long as I can remember I have always advocated for sovereignty.
My concept of sovereignty may be different than those of others though, as I believe sovereignty and tribal/individual responsibility are conjoined, they go hand in hand.
What this boils down to is since this is about existing laws that allow and govern cultivation and those laws are adopted by different nations to enable them to cultivate marijuana or industrial hemp then it seems that whether an operation is legal as defined by such laws becomes the central issue.
If they aren’t then that nickels worth of sense ought to be enough to enlighten and encourage all to observe them – if that isn’t to be the way of it then more raids can be expected and possibly impact the ability to grow anything related.
Industrial hemp is one thing and the cultivation of it’s psychotropic cousin something entirely different – if the intent is to grow industrial hemp seems the better part of wisdom is to know the difference, and in knowing the difference see to it that it stays that way.
I’ve never been impressed by the mere fact that laws exist making something legal.
It’s been and remains “legal” to take our children – the boarding schools were “legal” – the entire rez system is “legal” – corporations and Wall Street “legally” rip people off – the environment is being “legally” destroyed.
Prostitution is legal in Nevada, should the nations attempt to set up brothels and go that route claiming it to be all about sovereignty and some financial boon?
It’s too bad some vestige of each nation hasn’t remained uncontacted where traditions are preserved, as an example of how a community can function for the common welfare of all minus the gangs, alcohol and substance abuse, cronyism and nepotism in tribal governments ….. I must be trippin’ to even entertain such thoughts huh? But I’d volunteer to live in a such community.
If we’re going to be all about talking traditions not a one of our nations should ever have adopted the U.S. model of governance by fashioning tribal governments after them – a part of that “nation building” the U.S. routinely attempts to impose on others.
Now if we can applaud John McCain being told to get the hell off ndn land why can’t we do likewise when it comes to “certain elements”?
Why can’t we ban drug dealers? Simple answer, colonization – they’ve got “rights” that supercede any “sovereignty” that may exist.
You don’t agree? Ask a “real last Indian” or two.
I had someone ask me if I thought at some point enrollment in tribes, any tribe, could become a marketable commodity? Had to think about that but I wouldn’t rule it out and could lead to more legal issues.
Though vastly different Ward Churchill felt himself somehow empowered in having been given an “honorary membership” in the Ketowah band of Cherokee and attempted to portray it as proof of ancestry.
The Ketowah have since rescinded Churchill’s privilege and he no longer has much to say about being the real deal.
Come to think of it I believe Bill Clinton was also issued such status – if so his should be rescinded as well in my opinion.
I don’t believe a Republican has ever been “adopted” for obvious reasons but I could be wrong – as odd as it may sound Barry Goldwater may have been but I’d have to look that up.
And so a dispute has arisen whether the feds were correct in claiming their raid was focused upon non industrial hemp or not – something I imagine a sixth grade chemistry student would be capable of determining and the results should be known soon.
Hopefully such a determination is favorable to the Menominee as they like all of our nations have enough problems to contend with it as it is.
In the interim if the Menominee have any doubts related to an honest assessment perhaps they should hire an independent chemist.
The last link deals with this issue of outside elements, the Latin Kings infiltrating a rez and seeing it as prime location, this is the very sort of thing that concerns me and should concern all of ndn country.
This isn’t a reality restricted to any one rez or a mere handful, it’s common, and demands a concerted effort, a communal effort.