Support for Development of Hemp as a Cash Crop on Indian Reservation

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TITLE: Support for Development of Hemp as a Cash Crop on Indian Reservation

WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and

WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and

WHEREAS, in the past two years, the U.S. Department of Justice has issued guidelines for cultivation and use of marijuana on Indian reservations which includes guidelines for development of hemp as a cash crop that would not be considered a plant that produces a prohibited drug under U.S. drug laws; and

WHEREAS, studies and past efforts on several Indian reservations in the Great Plains have shown that hemp can be cultivated successfully in the Great Plains as a cash crop, but its cultivation first has to meet certain regulatory thresholds to be allowed on Indian reservations, including a reduction of THC content in the hemp plant to a negligible and non-drug level; and

WHEREAS, hemp production on Indian reservations could become a substantial cash crop and source of income to some tribes and to tribal citizens, if properly developed.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) hereby supports the development of a commercial grade of hemp for cultivation within Indian reservations within the United States, in order to assist in supplementing income for the Indian tribes that have the capacity and the desire to develop the crop; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NCAI hereby supports any further Congressional legislation that will assist in the development of commercial hemp to be grown on Indian reservations that have the capacity and the to grow such a crop, with the explicit understanding that such cultivation of hemp does not include the cultivation of marijuana with a THC content that will violate federal laws regarding marijuana cultivation and harvest; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.