Representatives Blumenauer and Haaland Pass Amendments Protecting Tribal Cannabis Sovereignty in the House

June 19, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and Representative Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, today applauded the passage of an amendment to protect tribal cannabis programs they introduced as part of the Fiscal Year ’20 Department of Justice (DOJ) funding package. This amendment was the first tribal cannabis amendment ever offered and passed on the House floor. 

“Our cannabis laws are out of date and out of touch, and tribes deserve full protection from the federal government,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “I’m very appreciative of Rep. Haaland’s voice and leadership on this issue as one of the first native women in Congress, and we will remain committed to ending the failed prohibition of cannabis and ensuring tribes do not get left behind.”

“Tribal cannabis programs are giving Native American communities access to diverse revenue streams,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus. “This amendment is important to ensure tribes can exercise their rights as sovereign nations and rightfully reflects that to promote self-determination while maintaining the economic opportunities that come with them.”

This would prohibit DOJ from spending money to interfere in any tribal cannabis programs, or interfere with tribal cannabis programs within states that have legalized. Under current law, tribes do not have existing protections for state medical cannabis programs. This amendment would protect tribal medical cannabis programs in states with such programs and broadly protect tribal medical cannabis programs regardless of surrounding state laws. 

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