Navajo Nation changes definition of marijuana

New Mexico News

NAVAJO NATION (KRQE) – The Navajo Nation Council has passed an amendment that will affect marijuana growing and perhaps hemp production on the reservation. The council has officially defined marijuana as all parts of the cannabis plant.

“With this resolution, we are sending a clear message to all Navajo Nation residents and visitors, officials, and those in elected office that you will be held accountable for possessing, manufacturing, transporting, selling, using, trading, and delivering marijuana on the Navajo Nation. Those convicted of such offenses will have to forfeit the marijuana, and all Navajo Nation officials including employees and elected officials will have to forfeit their employment or public office. We will continue to stand up for our communities against those who attempt to circumvent and manipulate our laws,” said President of the Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez, in a news release.

The amendment could also affect the controversial hemp farms that have been popping up across the Navajo Nation in recent months, built by the president of a local farm board, Dineh Benally. The courts have ordered all operations to cease as police investigate. The new rules will allow inspection and regulation of these and all other hemp or marijuana facilities on the Navajo Nation.

“We understand the economic potential of hemp production, but it must be done safely and in accordance with the laws of the Navajo Nation. Resolution CS-76-20 provides a future of economic development with industrial hemp production on terms approved by our lawmakers and the Office of the President and Vice President,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer, in the same news release.

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