It strengthens the government-to-government relationshipbetween the tribe and the state government. It basically says, ‘You might be the state and you have said that marijuana is legal here, but we’re not going to apply as a business and get a business license from the state.’ That wouldn’t make any sense for us. We worked to negotiate a compact with the state that was an official government-to-government relationship, and to look at making sure we got to keep the tax revenue because we’re operating [marijuana businesses] here and the tax revenue should come to us. It’s more money that goes into essential government services for us. It took two years to get to this point, and the fact that we’re here at this point is amazing. We’ve gotten to take a stand for other tribes in the state and country. As it gets legalized in more and more states, more and more tribes are going to be having this opportunity, and we’re glad to lead.
The Suquamish Tribe and Squaxin Island Tribe have legalized marijuana and in September signed 10-year compacts with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board; Squaxin’s retail marijuana store, “Elevation,” opened for business November 12 on the Squaxin Reservation. It is believed to be the first marijuana retailer owned by a Native nation in the U.S. “Agate Dreams,” to be operated by a Suquamish Tribe business entity, is expected to open in early December on Highway 305, near Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.
For Native nations near urban areas, legalizing marijuana use has some advantages. Had marijuana possession and use remained illegal under Suquamish law, enforcement on the 7,657-acre reservation – where 3,581 acres are owned by non-Indians – “would have been quite complex,” Suquamish Police Chief Mike Lasnier told the North Kitsap Herald (county sheriff’s deputies and Suquamish police are customarily dispatched to the same calls and decide jurisdiction at the scene). “We actually supported the council in making the change so there wouldn’t be that disparity. We — all of law enforcement — have bigger issues to deal with, like meth and heroin.”
Lasnier said tribes that legalize marijuana can set the ground rules on how marijuana is processed and sold on their lands, heading off environmental problems associated with clandestine marijuana cultivation.
“Everyone who has wanted marijuana has had marijuana,” Lasnier told ICTMN. “It’s more accessible now, except the Mexican mafia is no longer making the money and there is no more horrific dumping of trash and pollution. I was ecstatic when [the ban] was removed, because now there’s one set of rules for everyone.”
This fiscal year, which began July 1, retail marijuana has generated an average total daily sales of $2.3 million in Washington state; those sales are generating tax revenues that can be used to bolster law enforcement and other public services. According to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, the State of Washington charges an excise tax of 37 percent on all taxable sales of marijuana, marijuana concentrates, useable marijuana, and marijuana-infused products.
Time to reveal this year’s cannabis turkeys-the fattest, most frivolous, flapping, dumb-ass ideas in need of being stuffed, baked, and smoked once and for all.
Let’s start with a turkey large enough for the whole family, and by that I mean Gov. Chris Christie. He not only had the nerve to call cannabis a gateway drug, but said potheads lack restraint ( ahem ). “If I’m elected president I will go after marijuana smokers and the states that allow them to smoke,” he said. “I’ll shut them down big-time. I’m sick of these addicts, sick of these liberals with no self-control.” Governor GobbleGobble got in one more zinger on the campaign trail: “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie lectured a small crowd last month. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.” Don’t hold your breath, Guv. Well, unless you inhaled, of course.
Last week the DEA chief, Chuck Rosenberg, called medical cannabis “a joke.” “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal-because it’s not,” said pilgrim Rosenberg. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine-that is a joke . . . If you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana-which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana-it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.” Hilarious joke for those being aided by cannabis for everything from epileptic seizures to Parkinson’s, chronic pain, PTSD, and more. Rep. Earl Blumenauer ( D-OR ) slammed this diatribe from the House floor, calling Rosenberg “an inept, misinformed zealot who has mismanaged America’s failed policy of marijuana prohibition.” A change.org petition created for this turkey’s removal currently bears more than 100,000 signatures.
So far, the Liquor and Cannabis Board has handed out 142 medical endorsements, while roughly 1,100 dispensaries have also applied for new state rec licenses, according to the Olympian.