Please join us for the Tribes and Marijuana . . . Beginning the Conversation webinar on Wednesday, January 14, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PST.  Please see agenda below.

Registration is available at

Overview:  The Department of Justice’s recent memo regarding enforcement of federal marijuana laws in Indian Country presents both challenges and opportunities for tribes.  This webinar is designed to assist tribes navigate the issue by  providing a summary of legal developments and an overview of important issues that should be considered before making a decision to either prohibit or allow marijuana in Indian Country.  The webinar will also discuss steps your Tribe can take to implement the decision while ensuring public safety concerns are met.

Lael Echo-Hawk
, Attorney, Garvey Schubert Barer
Tracie Stevens
, President, Coast Salish Consulting
Stephanie Boehl
, Attorney, Garvey Schubert Barer

Recent history of marijuana legalization

Legalization of marijuana generally across United States
Development of DOJ’s enforcement policy, including Aug 2013 Cole Memo
Recent Congressional action
Case Study – Legalization and regulation in Washington State
Medicinal v recreational
Initiative 502 regulatory framework
What does this mean for my Tribe?
What does the DOJ memo say, and not say?
Benefits/Negative impacts of legalization of marijuana
Societal impacts
Additional revenue (tax source, revenue from sales/participation)
What could legalization look like for my Tribe?
Who will have jurisdiction to enforce prohibition or legalization of marijuana?
What steps should my Tribe take?
Talk to the U.S. Attorney for your District.
Carefully consider all options before making the decision to prohibit or allow marijuana on your reservation.
Make an affirmative decision and memorialize in law.
Coordinate with all affected law enforcement agencies.
Learn from other jurisdictions facing this issue.
Wrap up & Questions

Warning Regarding Federal Law: The possession, distribution, and manufacturing of marijuana is illegal under federal law, regardless of state law which may, in some jurisdictions, decriminalize such activity under certain circumstances. Federal penalties for violating the federal Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”) are serious and, depending on the quantity of marijuana involved, can include criminal penalties of up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,000,000. 21 U.S.C. § 841. The penalties increase if the sale or possession with intent occurs within 1,000 feet of a school, university, playground, or public housing facility. 21 U.S.C. § 860. In addition, the federal government may seize, and seek the civil forfeiture of, the real or personal property used to facilitate the sale of marijuana as well as the money or other proceeds from the sale. 21 U.S.C. § 881. Although the U.S. Department of Justice has noted that an effective state regulatory system, and compliance with such a system, should be considered in the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial discretion, its authority to prosecute violations of the CSA is not diminished by the passage of state laws which may permit such activity, including Initiative 502 in the State of Washington.