Feds: Tribes Can Grow, Sell Pot
Policy applies to reservations all across US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2014 10:50 PM CST
Updated Dec 12, 2014 1:00 AM CST
A marijuana grower checks the leaves of his plants for fungus.   (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)

(Newser) – Could tribal marijuana be as big a moneymaker as tribal casinos? The federal government has cleared the way for Native American tribes across the country to grow and sell marijuana on their land, reports the AP. The Justice Department says growing and selling will be allowed on reservations—even in states where the drug remains illegal—as long as the tribes follow the same federal guidelines in place in states that have legalized marijuana, including not selling it to minors and not transporting it to areas where it's outlawed.

"The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations," the US attorney for North Dakota tells the Los Angeles Times. Pot grown on reservations won't be subject to federal or state taxes, but it's not clear how many tribes will go into the marijuana business: Many oppose legalization, and the Yakama Nation in Washington state, where pot is legal, has banned it on the reservation. The US attorney for Oregon says that so far, only three tribes of the 566 across the country have shown any interest.