Tribes Say Medical Marijuana Illegal For Montana Indians


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​Don’t pass the peace pipe, partner — Flathead definitely does not equal pothead. Medical marijuana providers on the Flathead Indian Reservation who sell to American Indians can be charged with felony distribution, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSTK) of Montana announced Wednesday.

After consulting with elders from the Salish, Kootenai and Pend d’Oreille peoples, the Tribal Council decided to keep their policy, which makes the possession or sale of marijuana for any reason a criminal offense, according to CSKT spokesman Rob McDonald, reports Vince Devlin of The Missoulian.

“The result was a consensus from the elders that marijuana has no cultural significance,” McDonald said, “and that we, as a people, have other indigenous means to deal with pain.”

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​Gee, wasn’t it nice and considerate these folks, who have no medical training, to decide it was a “cultural” rather than a “medical” matter, don’t you think?
And, really, to go that extra mile by making the decision for their fellow tribe members, rather than actually allowing adults to make life-changing medical decisions for themselves. Talk about a Nanny State!
As a “sovereign Indian nation,” the tribes have the option of adopting or not adopting state laws, and so while the state of Montana has legalized medical marijuana, the tribes have not.
The decision could affect nonmembers of the tribe if they provide marijuana to tribal members or federally recognized American Indians, CSKT officials have been informed.
Lake County Attorney Mitch Young told them it means if a provider on the reservation supplies medical marijuana to a member of the tribe, that person will be subject to felony distribution charges, the tribes said.
The announcement does not affect nonmembers of the tribe who are on the reservation, or medical marijuana providers located off the reservation. The tribes have jurisdiction over tribal members and recognized Indians from other reservations located within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation.
Thus, while it remains a criminal offense for any member of the tribe to possess marijuana on the reservation, even for medical purposes, now it also becomes a criminal offense for anyone, whether a tribe member or not, to sell it to them there, according to Young.
The county attorney cautioned medical marijuana providers located on the reservation to ask about tribal affiliation before supplying anyone with medical cannabis.
“Like other area governments, CSKT officials have wrestled with the complex issue,” McDonald said. “After much discussion, CSKT does not embrace a system where medical marijuana can be provided by non-medical staffs who have obtained a provider license.”
The tribal release goes to great and painful lengths to establish guiilt by association, claiming local law enforcement officers have come across “too many” instances where medical marijuana patients are “either convicted felons, or under investigation for drug use and sales,” while failing to explain exactly what medical significance this has in the real world.
The release also sees fit to mention that other medical marijuana consumers have been found to have convictions for the manufacture of methamphetamine, prescription drug violations and drug distribution convictions in other states.
Gee, guess if any medical marijuana patient, anywhere, has ever been convicted of any drug crime, that automatically invalidates all uses medical marijuana. And, obviously, it means all medical marijuana users are criminals.
Great thinking, there, Flathead Tribe! Let us know when you’re ready to join the 21st Century. We’ll leave a light on for you. Oh, wait a minute. That might not be “cultural” enough for you, either.