WASHINGTON: If you live on or visit a reservation on the North Olympic Peninsula, don’t bring marijuana.
At least four of the six tribes in Clallam and Jefferson counties will not recognize Washington state’s 2012 legalization of recreational marijuana.
The use and possession of pot will remain illegal on tribal lands controlled by the Makah, Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam and Quileute tribes, their representatives told the Peninsula Daily News
The Hoh tribe in West Jefferson County has yet to make a decision.
Representatives of the Quinault did not respond to Peninsula Daily News requests for information on their policy toward marijuana.
Voters statewide legalized pot by approving Initiative 502 a year ago by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin.
The state is finishing procedures and regulations on marijuana in non-tribal areas.
Pot remains illegal on federal lands, including Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest.
“Like the state of Washington and the United States, the Makah tribe is a separate sovereign,” a letter from Makah tribal authorities to tribal members said.
“We have a treaty that confirms our sovereignty and self-determination.
“A big part of that sovereignty is that state laws do not apply to the tribe and its territory.
“As a state law, I-502 could not and does not legalize marijuana within the Makah Reservation.”
Both Makah and federal law lists marijuana as a controlled substance. Possessing, using, buying and selling it is a federal crime, and a tribal crime, said Meredith Parker, general manager of the Neah Bay-based Makah tribe.
“So, on the reservation, the answer is easy: Every little bit of pot is illegal,” the notice to tribal members said.