The federal administration has adopted a hands-off style to cannabis enforcement in states that have chosen to legalize the cannabis plant. So why did a federal bureau newly raid a petite, home cannabis cultivation space of a medicinal cannabis patient living on Native American land in New Mexico?
That’s a concern that officials operating out the Pueblo of Picuris are inquiring about after the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) incident earlier this summer. Additionally, the answer from the bureau, which falls under the management of the Department of the Interior, has provided little to clear up the matter.
‘Why is Picuris being victimized against or heckled upon?’ the governor of the Native American tribe, Craig Quanchello, stated in a phone discussion with a popular cannabis news outlet a few months ago. ‘Why do we choose to undergo the outcomes of a rogue official? That’s what we’re attempting to get to understand.’
‘That’s the narrative we’re trying to get across, is for [the rogue government officials] to have some uniformity across the Native American country for tribes,’ Craig said, annexing that the Native American tribe wants to understand ‘what is that secret criterion that is needed by the [government officials] to not disturb us that everybody else seems to have except [Native American tribes]?”
While the 54-year-old patient who had grew the nine seized cannabis plants isn’t particularly Native American, he’s married to a Native American tribal constituent and lives on the Native American territory, which is located within a state where medicinal and recreational cannabis is permitted and people can cultivate cannabis plants for private use.
‘I was just receptive with the officer, upfront,’ Charles Farden stated regarding the raid, discussing with The Associated Press. ’When the fed asked what I was cultivating, I stated, ‘My vegetables, my medicinal cannabis plants.’ And he was like, ‘That can be a issue.’”
The Pueblo of Picuris sent postage to BIA via an attorney the day after the raid, explaining concern about the lack of intelligence about the enforcement issue.
‘We consider the recent raid at the Pueblo to have been a total intrusion of the Pueblo’s sovereign authority over its constituent and other persons residing on Native American tribal lands,” the postage explains. ‘Despite possession of cannabis is, as we recognized, ultimately is a violation of the federal statute, the fact that the United States has evidently adopted a hands-off approach in the many states that have legalized cannabis possession and retail, for medicinal purposes and, frequently, for private, recreational use, displays that cannabis possession is not acknowledged by the federal government to be an issue justifying law enforcement interactions.’
‘We are therefore extremely confused, and worried, that BIA law enforcement administrators, who surely have far more driving preferences, would take it upon themselves to execute an action like a raid, especially where it was against people whose ownership of cannabis was for medicinal purposes,” it goes on to state.
The Native American tribe also pointed out that it is in the manner of employing an intergovernmental contract with the state of New Mexico to legalize cannabis retail for adult use under a measure that was enacted earlier this spring. The governor of New Mexico told a popular cannabis news outlet that it intends to move onward, but the federal raid has given rogue officials some stay about exactly what a regulated cannabis market would look like within Picuris and how the federal government would reply.
‘We’re farmers by life. This is something that we’re great at,” Quanchello stated. ‘This is something that our whole species can behoove from—from a natural approach to an economic method. And at the end of the day, we can employ this money to support our teachers, to fund education, to back all these resources that get inadequate funding.’