Wisconsin Indian Tribe Approves Legalizing Cannabis

Members of the Menominee Indian tribe, located in Wisconsin, voted 677 to 499 earlier this week to legalize recreational cannabis.

Members also voted to legalize medical cannabis, 899 to 275.

“This is new ground,” says Gary Besaw, Menominee chairman. “We have to start looking at developing best practices and draft ordinances to maximize the benefits we believe are possible and minimize the consequences we believe also are possible.”

The Flandreau Santee Sioux, located in South Dakota, has taken a similar approach; the tribe plans to start selling cannabis to anyone 21 and older beginning this December.

All of this is made possible due to a December memorandum by the U.S. Justice Department requesting that U.S. attorneys allow Native Americans to grow and sell cannabis on their own sovereign lands.

The Menominee Legislature must now vote on whether or not to legalize cannabis before it becomes law, though it’s expected they’ll follow the will of the tribe’s members.