Plan to open marijuana resort foiled by the feds

Capelli D'Angelo

English: Rep. Stephanie Herseth (left) greets ...
English: Rep. Stephanie Herseth (left) greets dancers at the 43rd Annual Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Wacipi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Santee Sioux tribe of South Dakota legalized the recreational use of marijuana in June, according to the Denver Post. Since then, the tribal council has decided to open a marijuana resort on the reservation.

The business would be the first of its kind in the United States, and was scheduled to open New Years Day. The tribe had even started growing inventory for the resort. The plan was stopped short Monday when the tribal president announced that the marijuana was burned.


After meeting with a Justice Department official in Washington, it became clear that the federal government could raid the resort or grow operation at any time. To avoid this, the tribal council decided it best to destroy the marijuana and did so on Saturday.

“The Department of Justice is never going to give a tribe or a merchant in a state where it’s legalized a letter saying you have permission to do this,” said Tim Purdon, former U.S. attorney for North Dakota. “Cannabis remains illegal under federal law. And looking for some sort of advisory opinion from the department saying that what you’re doing is OK is never going to happen.”

To read more about marijuana regulations on the Santee Sioux reservation, check out the full story.