Blake Trueblood, was interviewed by KFI Radio on the topic of marijuana legality and economic development in Indian Country. The conversation centered around a recent Department of Justice memo stating that the Department would not stand in the way if Native American sovereign nations decided to grow marijuana on Tribal lands.
In the interview, Mr. Trueblood stated that Tribes need to evaluate for themselves whether growing marijuana on their land is in their best economic and social interest. Mr. Trueblood highlighted two types of tribes that would benefit most from this decision: Tribes with little to no current economic development, and Tribes located in states with a high demand for marijuana but where it is not yet legal.
For Tribes growing marijuana in states where marijuana is not legal, the Department of Justice will treat them no differently than Tribes located in states where it is legal. Tribes need to avoid eight enforcement priorities that apply to state marijuana rules, including the “diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal to states where it remains illegal.” Mr. Trueblood recommended that Tribes build close relationships with US attorneys and their state governments while developing their growing operations.
You can listen to the full interview by clicking here.
Blake Trueblood acts as the Director of Business Development at The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED), a non-profit dedicated to Native American economic development in the private sector. Mr. Trueblood is also a Tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.