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Drugs

A Native American Tribe Just Panicked and Burned All Its Weed

The South Dakota tribe planned to open a marijuana resort, but then freaked out about the possibility of a federal raid and burned all of the marijuana.

by Michael Cuby
Nov 9 2015, 11:45pm

Photo via Flickr user Mark

Read: The War in Weed Country

There are plenty of good (even great) ways to burn weed—the best being as you inhale the crop into your lungs. But then there are also some pretty bad ways to burn it. On Saturday, Flandreau Santee Sioux, an American Indian tribe in South Dakota, burned all of their marijuana, but not by smoking it.

The tribe had hoped to open the nation's first "marijuana resort," which is a pretty cool idea that they believed could bring in upwards of $2 million a month in profit. According to the Associated Press, the tribe leaders had been in talks with federal authorities about the legality of their venture for the past three weeks, but after the government presented some concerns—primarily, whether or not the tribe would be allowed to sell weed to non-Indians—and hinted at a potential raid, the tribe got a little scared.

You know we have an entire video series about weed, right? Watch Weediquette here.

There were no official statements that a raid would happen, according to US Attorney for South Dakota Randolph Seiler, who sat in on the final meeting along with a Justice Department official. But the tribe decided to burn all the marijuana anyway, rather than risk the damage of the resort's facility and equipment in the event of a raid.

The June decision to open the tribe's marijuana resort came about months after marijuana was legalized on the Santee Sioux land—part of a larger Justice Department decision that granted Indian tribes the right to grow and sell their own weed—and the tribe had intentions to open on New Year's Eve. But because weed is still illegal under federal law, officials have the right to raid any operation at any time, which put a real damper on that plan.

The tribe's president Anthony Reider says that there are more talks in line for this upcoming week. On the decision to burn all of their crops, he told the Associated Press, "We just felt it would be best to go in with a clean slate to look for answers on how to proceed so that all sides are comfortable with it."

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