Medical marijuana illegal for Indians on Flathead

Pablo, Montana (AP) May 2010

Officials with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes say medical marijuana providers on the Flathead Reservation who sell to Indians can be charged with felony distribution of the drug.

CSKT spokesman Rob McDonald said that after consulting with elders from the Salish, Kootenai and Pend d’Oreille peoples, the Tribal Council retained its policy that makes the possession or sale of marijuana a criminal offense.

McDonald says the elders agreed marijuana has no cultural significance.

The tribes have the option of adopting or not adopting state laws, and so while the state has legalized medical marijuana, the tribes have not.

The announcement does not affect non-tribal medical marijuana consumers on the reservation or medical marijuana providers located off the reservation. But it could potentially affect non-tribal members if they provide marijuana to tribal members or federally recognized Indians.