Native America

California Indian tribes to cash in on cannabis? Maybe not...

Posted on December 18th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaIn an historic move to respect Native American sovereignty earlier this month, the US Department of Justice (DoJissued a memo instructing US attorneys to not interfere with tribes cultivating or selling cannabis on reservation lands. The caveat is that the tribes have to be in conformity with state law, limiting the new policy to states that have legalized (Colorado, Washington) or have strong medical marijuana programs (California, Montana). Tribes must also maintain "robust and effective regulatory systems," as John Walsh, US attorney for Colorado, told the Los Angeles Times. But US attorney for North Dakota Timothy Purdon, the Attorney General's pointman on Native American Issues, added: "The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations." US News & World Report even speculated: "Marijuana may displace casinos as reservation cash cows."

Guerilla grow ops on Indian rez spark tribal anger —again

Posted on July 30th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaAmid mounting concern about the ecological impacts of outdoor cannabis grows in California's Emerald Triangle comes news of last week's massive raid on the Yurok Indian Resolution in Humboldt Country. The California National Guard on July 21 joined more than a dozen other agencies to help Yurok tribal authorities uproot the grows, the LA Times reported. Tribal leaders say that grow ops have threatened the reservation's water supply, harmed its salmon, and interfered with cultural ceremonies. At the request of Yurok officials, officers served search warrants at several properties in and near the reservation along the Klamath River. Participating agencies in "Operation Yurok" included the Sheriff's Drug Enforcement Unit, the North State Marijuana Investigation Team, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management, as well as Yurok tribal police.  Yurok Tribal Chairman Thomas O'Rourke joined officers at their staging area at a hillside fire station, where he complained bitterly of the growers.  "They're stealing millions and millions of gallons of water and and it's impacting our ecosystem," O'Rourke said. "We can't no longer make it into our dance places, our women and children can't leave the road to gather. We can't hunt. We can't live the life we've lived for thousands of years." And while growers once "brought their fertilizer in in batches in the dark," O'Rourke said dump trucks now enter the reservation with impunity in broad daylight, using heavy equipment to carve roads through tribal land. Yurok authorities said tens of thousands of plants would likely be eradicated in the operation, chipped on-site.   

The Emerald Triangle enters the post-CAMP era

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

A market glut and paranoia about criminal cartels getting into the act coincide with the end of the CAMP program. Can Northern California's cannabis industry remake itself along ecological and community-rooted lines?

With the 2012 fall harvest season, Northern California's legendary cannabis-growing Emerald Triangle—centered around the counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity—is at a turning point. And as the old cliché goes, the Chinese character for crisis is made up of the characters for danger and opportunity.

The current juncture is ripe with both.

Massive grow op eradicated on Hoopa Valley tribal lands

Posted on September 7th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

More than 26,000 cannabis plants from what authorities called a "sophisticated grow operation" were eradicated on Hoopa Valley tribal land in California's Humboldt County on Aug. 7. The Hoopa Tribal Police worked with the Sheriff's office, the Humboldt County drug task force, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the US Marshals Office, the California Department of Justice Narcotics Enforcement, the Bureau of Land Management and the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, according to a statement from the office of the sheriff. The Hoopa Valley Tribe, already hit hard by the methamphetamine plague, expressed outrage that large-scale growers had trespassed on their lands.

Cannabis certain winner in California's new "Emerald Triangle" congressional district

CaliforniaThanks to last year's redistricting, California now has a new Second Congressional District that some call the "Emerald Triangle District"—running from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border, through the cannabis counties of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity. The primary is in five days, and under California's new open-primary system, the two leading vote-getters will move on to the November general election, regardless of party. In the field of 12, the most outspoken herbal advocate is Garberville's veteran Earth First! tree-hugger Andy Caffrey.

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