NAVAJO NATION (KRQE) – The Navajo Police Department says it has received several reports of possible unauthorized growth of marijuana or help in Shiprock from concerned citizens. Navajo Police report through the investigation, authorities have identified “grows” of marijuana or help fields that are connected to the “Navajo Gold” business owned by Navajo Nation San Juan River Farm Board President Dineh Benally.

“We are aware of the concerns brought to our attention by the community and we are working collectively in this investigation with Navajo Department of Criminal Investigation and BIA Drug Drug Enforcement agency on the criminal aspect of these allegations,” said Chief Phillip Francisco. “We have sent our findings to the Navajo Nation Prosecutors Office for further review.”

Police say they have made administrative inquiries to the Navajo Nation legislative and regulatory bodies regarding the growth which revealed that the Navajo Nation Council has not passed any legislation or regulation that authorized the growing or farming of hemp or marijuana for industrial production and or distribution. Additionally, the Navajo Nation Police Department has not found a valid business license for Navajo Gold on or off of the Nation or any business-related to hemp or marijuana production for sale.

At this time there is no regulatory body to test, validate, or distinguish between hemp and marijuana within the Navajo Nation. Responding to the growing community concern, police will be forming a special task force and enforcement team to investigate all unrelated growing and harvesting of marijuana and help on the Navajo Nation regardless if it is considered legal outside of the Nation.

The Navajo Police Department urges residents to report unauthorized activities to their local police district.