NW Native Leaders Unite Against Marijuana

By Steve Jackson

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians has approved a resolution that rejects marijuana use and legalization efforts in the region. The resolution, drawn up at the group's recent Winter Convention, points out that native tribes have higher rates of marijuana and drug use than other ethnicities in the U.S., and the negative impacts of marijuana use can cause many health related problems.

Affiliated Tribes Executive Director Terri Parr says the resolution will  result in some specific policies. Parr says "in the state of Washington where it is already legal, many tribes there do not intend to legalize it in their jurisdiction, it will remain illegal." "In Oregon and Alaska where it will be coming on their ballots for voting, they will be doing some lobbying efforts against legalization,” says Parr.

Parr says the Swinomish and Quinalt Tribes are two that likely plan to prohibit marijuana use on their reservations, even though recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Washington State. The Yakama Tribe has already enacted a prohibition.
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