Nevada US attorney threatens to shut down cannabis event

One of the largest marijuana consumer events – the High Times Cannabis Cup – is in peril.

Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden sent a letter on Feb. 16 to the Moapa Paiute Tribe warning that the event would be in violation of federal law. The tribe is scheduled to host the cup Saturday and Sunday on Native American lands north of Las Vegas.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Bogden warned the tribe it had incorrectly interpreted Justice Department memoranda that would permit them to hold the event.

“Nothing in (DOJ memoranda) alters the authority or the jurisdiction of the United States to enforce federal law in Indian Country or elsewhere,” Bogden wrote to the tribe.

Bogden’s stance arguably contradicts what many tribal leaders had seen as a green light from the government to enter the marijuana business, based on the 2014 Wilkinson Memo.

The memo appeared to give Native Americans the go-ahead to delve into the marijuana trade as long as they follow similar strictures as the states under the 2013 Cole Memo. The memo outlines eight key points to which states must adhere to avoid federal intervention, such as preventing illegal marijuana diversion to the black market and cannabis sales to minors.

Although the Cannabis Cup is typically more oriented toward consumers instead of companies, plenty of businesses will be on hand to hawk their wares, including at least eight corporate sponsors. That means if the event falls through, those companies would be directly affected.

As of Tuesday, it was still unclear whether the cup would go forward as planned. The key seems to be whether cannabis will be allowed at the event.

“As long as (marijuana) is not visible, we’re told it will be OK,” tribal chairman Darren Daboda told the Gazette-Journal. The tribe is still negotiating with the U.S. attorney’s office.

However, given the Trump administration’s unclear stance on marijuana and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ indications that recreational marijuana businesses could be targeted in coming years, this could be the first shot across the industry’s bow, since individual U.S. attorneys’ offices typically are given leeway in deciding which cases to pursue.

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6 comments on “Nevada US attorney threatens to shut down cannabis event
  1. Eric Layland on

    This will be interesting to follow. State AG’s that want to be in the good graces of Trump administration may be inclined to uphold federal law. State AGs who respect the will of the people and voters will need to show their true colors. Thankfully Washington State’s AG Bob Ferguson has already show “the bird” to Trump & Co in stopping the Muslim travel ban.

    • Hyena Merica on

      Way to be uninformed amigo. Not a Muslim ban. AG Ferguson did a 100% political thing. At least call stuff what it really is, whether you like Trump or not. Plus this a forum about cannabis-related things.

  2. Paul Sorensen on

    Don’t know what the TEMPORARY travel ban has to do with this discussion. I do hope the Oregon state AG tells them to “get lost!!!!”. This about business and prohibition. And we all know how well that prohibition thing worked out.

  3. Kivasativah on

    The former senator now Nevada AG has been a major supporter of US state and federal intervention into tribal law. Congress passed the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 (TLOA).Senator Byron Dorgan, was the main sponsor. Federal policing of tribal land has been going on since 1817. Its Dorgans job To increase the number of federal prosecutions in tribal land.

  4. George Bianchini on

    The best cannabis events I have attended are ones with no product for sale. You simply bring your own. High Times is the least of all medical events as far as concept goes. Most all of the categories are still just based on how to get ripped with the dankest THC. No prize for new CBN, CBG, CBDV,THCV, the real cannabis medicines. THC is just one of more than one hundred Cannabinoids. These are just big pot parties. They are the fuel to the remaining Cannabis opposition. Don’t get me wrong, If someone want’s to consume large amounts of danky dabs and sit and stare at a blank wall for hours, I say it’s their right as a human being and go for it. It’s still “sort of ” a free country. These events will be vastly popular in the near future. For right now we as activists must continue to ensure the viability of free unmolested access to Cannabis. These events don’t help. Have venders that support the industry not just the profits of selling cannabis. Venders can promote their products and educate patients and other consumers without selling at the events. That’s what we have dispensaries for.

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