Pot Policy Splits Native Americans Over Whether Business Is Worth It

When it comes to marijuana laws, the Justice Department is now treating American Indian tribes the way it treats states that have legalized pot: by backing off on enforcement.

The move, announced in December, has inadvertently sparked interest in the marijuana business. While many see dollar signs, others worry about contributing to the impact substance abuse has already had on Indian Country.

Havasupai Tribe Chairman Rex Tilousi says he was relieved to hear the Justice Department was recognizing tribal sovereignty when it comes to marijuana. His tribe has grown and smoked marijuana plants for over a century near the Grand Canyon.

"I felt very free," he says. "I don't have to hide behind that rock. I don't have to go into those bushes to smoke."

The Havasupai make what little money they have by taking visitors on mule and helicopter to see their famous...

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