Minnesota’s Red Lake Nation on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a medical cannabis program that goes beyond the state’s program parameters and allowing flower, Red Lake Nation News reports. The measure passed 1,765 to 425, or 80 percent approval.
Cannabis advocate Kevin Jones, who also organized the Chippewa Cannabis Party, said the tribe would also have about 20 more qualifying conditions than the state program and that the tribal program will allow program access for opioid addiction.
“I hope it helps the opioid crisis, we got hit hard with that. I hope that changes a lot of it and helps families bring parents, aunties and uncles back to where they were before. It won’t bring the ones we lost back but will make a new path for the ones on that journey today.” – Jones to the Red Lake Nation News
Jones noted in an interview with the Duluth Reader that when Minnesota launched its medical cannabis program, they didn’t include tribes in the reforms. Jones said the vote sets the stage for the tribe to go “full recreational” despite Minnesota laws and that the tribe would exercise its sovereignty on the issue.
“If Minnesota can make a program without including native tribes, we can make things here in Red Lake and start practicing our sovereignty. … We’re going to tell them what we’re going to do,” Jones said to the Reader. “This is what we’re going to do, because they left us out so much. I’m tired of them taking a lot of what we had. Now they’re trying to take our sovereignty away. I won’t allow them to do that. I will fight for our sovereignty. I know the council will back us if we run this industry right.”
Jones is next planning to sell hemp and CBD products under the Red Lake Chippewa Hemp label. Jones is also running for a four-year term as Redby representative under the Cannabis Party banner and said that if he and other party members are elected to the council they will push for full recreational legalization within 30 days.
Minnesota’s medical cannabis program only allows oils, pills, liquids, or vaporized forms.
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