Washington State Businesses Face Opposition From Tribe

Washington’s Yakama Nation is trying to block marijuana businesses from operating on a 10.8-million-acre section of the state that it ceded to the United States government in an 1855 treaty.

The tribe still holds hunting, food-gathering and fishing rights to the territory.

The land spreads across 10 counties, and approximately a quarter of it falls on National Forest, where marijuana cultivation and sale is already banned. But Washington State has received approximately 1,300 business license applications from entrepreneurs that live within the territory.

The ban could further chase the industry out of Washington State’s rural interior. Already, cities and towns across the state have passed moratoriums and bans on the industry. Two communities that sit within the ceded land have already banned businesses there.

The Yakama have outlawed marijuana businesses on the 1.2 million acres of reservation land that the tribe controls in Central Washington’s Yakama Valley. An attorney for the Yakama Nation said the move is aimed at preventing more Yakama from using the plant, which the tribe sees as a major social problem.

“It’s a bigger problem than alcohol,” said George Colby, an attorney for the tribe.

The Yakama have a record of success in controlling the land in question and previously blocked a landfill from being constructed there.

13 comments on “Washington State Businesses Face Opposition From Tribe
  1. cheryl on

    and it doesn’t give you liver disease or kill people in car wrecks It has many health advantages which alcohol doesn’t ,Someone or alot of somebodys need to read the up side of Pot.

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  2. Silverado on

    Well maybe they could close their casino and do an actual service to their community especially to their ailing elders and give them all the right to grow and use medical cannabis. Which I’m sure IF the truth was known that this tribe has a eons long relationship with the plant for a substantially longer period of time than their relationship with gambling and games of chance. They need to get back to their real history of healing and legalize what they know to work. Instead of this….addiction to gaming money that all tribes seem to suffer from these days. They’re so far lost into the modern Matrix of today they don’t even recognize their proud herbal heritage that included cannabis at a time when their peoples were undoubtedly much healthier and I’m betting much happier because of it.

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  3. BILL ZIESE on

    They have a right to choose what goes on their land. HOWEVER, if I’m reading it correctly, they have fishing, gathering and hunting RIGHTS-NOT ownership. I think they are afraid it will cut into their cigarette business.

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  4. Excellent Story on

    I am very impressed that the Yakama Nation is willing to take a view on what is best for their tribal members. As someone who has studied modern tribal gaming operations — the income from these operations benefit tribal members with the proceeds to fund elder care services, Head Start programs, roadway improvements, college education funds, etc. While I am sure that those who use marijuana to ‘recreate’ are deeply disappointed that an entire tribal government is not supportive of using a chemical substance to get buzzed — it is tribal leaders who govern their lands for the best interest of the tribal folks. Folks and communities should have the option to ‘opt-in’ to allowing recreational marijuana usage as well as the right to “opt-out” of allowing it in their community. Both decisions should be respected.

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  5. doc on

    Something is very fishy here. They admit that cannabis consumption is to paraphrase; “bigger than alcohol”. Cannabis is not only much healthier, with actual benefits, it also is obviously wanted. Tax it, create money for everyone, take it away from the criminals, and give the people what they want; a safer substance than alcohol.

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  6. watso on

    Again Natives are caught in the web of misinformation. At one time it was easy, although difficult to do anything about it, to spot the manipulation. Now with individuals(Indians), over the generations, immersing themselves in dominate societies religions and “patriot” way of life, some Native Nations again lose. Tribal members may benefit to search out the truth of why lobbiest of alcohol and especially pharmaceutical companies spent large sums of money to prevent the benefits of cannabis to come to light. Ban something? Ban alcohol and missionaries. Take pride in understanding our Cultures and our medicines, medicines that, before pride in assimilation. As the truths of cannabis come to be widely known, will current Tribal leaders take responsibility for holding members and future members again at a loss on our own land?

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  7. Bill Middlebrook on

    What a joke–the feds are so veneer….on the one hand they are doing secret research on marijuana and have been for years, deny the fact that the social harm from marijuana is worse than alcohol? Well, how many people die each year from drunk driving vs. driving while on marijuana….d’oh. 50,000+ vs. 0? What logic (or pure BS) is flowing from their mouths? To think that people buy into to the Federal Gov’t’s position that it’s a harmful substance far worse than alcohol…classified the same way as heroine and cocaine.

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  8. DAVID on

    This is turning into a complete disaster. Half the State has opted out, via bans moratoriums or strict zoning and it will take THREE FRIGGING YEARS to process the producer applicants at 50 a month– if THAT. More like 5 a week!It could take 5 years! Meanwhile you sit and wait without a CLUE as to when they will get around to you
    As for stores,they haven’t even written the rules for the lottery yet. I think they have decided to hold off until ALL the retail applicants have been processed for weeding out purposes and that could take YEARS as well!
    It APPEARS they are doing this willingly as an obstuctionst agenda of sorts. I see NO plan to speed things up at all!

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  9. DAVID on

    You went over the legislature’s head via an initiative to legalize pot and they are passively aggressive about it at best, hopping mad about an “ill advised ” vote at worst.They way they see it, it’s pay back time starting with a three year application process! They would have been having snowball fights in Hell before the LEGISLATURE cameup with a bill legalizing pot. For certain! Initiative was the ONLY way. Ditto elsewhere

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  10. DAVID on

    Sent my application and money in in December and haven’t heard a thing back yet.On a list though! I honestly don’t expect to hear a thing for the entire rest of the year, maybe not even in 2015! And NOBODY cares about it except me! Seriously! Just bureaucrats doing their slow job! Complaints mean NOTHING!

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  11. DAVID on

    One in ten chance of winning the WA retail pot store lottery– someday, but not any time soon— Anybody feel like investing in a two year lease? I didn’t think so

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  12. DAVID on

    Gonna be REAL interesting come the 4th of July when the 10 approved March licencees start harvesting with NO stores open to sell it to. Followed quickly by April’s 15 approved producer licensees!– then May’s!

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  13. DAVID on

    The FBI balked at doing background checks on 7000 people so now the WA State Patrol has to do it. And you know what THAT means! Another 6 month bottleneck!

    Reply

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