SUQUAMISH, WA, January 4, 2018- The Suquamish Tribe has enjoyed a productive working relationship with the State of Washington and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in our efforts to address the unique challenges faced by Indian Tribes in states that have legalized marijuana for medical, recreational or agricultural uses. After Washington State legalized recreational marijuana, the Suquamish Tribe was forced to address the issue of marijuana regulation in its Indian Country. The tribal-state system we use today was developed over years of cooperative government-to-government work with DOJ, state initiative and legislation, carefully negotiated State-Tribal Compacts and six DOJ guidance memoranda. Despite the existence of this effective and well regulated system, DOJ today elected to rescind all six guidance memoranda without consultation.
“State and Tribal laws were created and crafted in response to the challenges marijuana presented to our communities. We agree with Governor Inslee that the Washington State system addresses these problems in a manner that is well regulated, keeps out criminals, protects it from falling into the hands of children, cracks down on driving under the influence, and carefully tracks production to prevent cross-border transfer,” said Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman. “The Suquamish Tribe will continue to work closely with Washington State to best protect our people far into the future,” added Forsman.
“This is not only about the marijuana industry, it is about sovereignty, voters rights and access to safe marijuana that since becoming legal has resulted in the creation of good paying jobs and much-needed Tribal tax revenue that allows us to buy our lands back and invest in community development,” said Suquamish Tribal Treasurer Robin Sigo.
About Suquamish Tribe
Suquamish is a federally recognized sovereign Tribe. The village of Suquamish and seat of the Suquamish Tribal Government are located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, along the shores of the Puget Sound near Seattle, WA. The Suquamish Tribe provides comprehensive government, economic and social programs to approximately 1,100 tribal members. In the last two decades, the Suquamish Tribe has become a key economic partner in the region, operating several Port Madison Enterprises business ventures, a growing seafood company and performing property management duties for lease land on the reservation.