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Marijuana Resort hosted by Native American Tribe in South Dakota

santee sioux marijuana south dakota

(image via wikimedia.com)

Since I live in South Dakota, this is incredibly exciting! I recently wrote that South Dakota has some of the worst drug policy laws in the United States, but we also have something that only a few states have: sovereign entities within our state borders.

Marijuana is clearly not legal in the state of South Dakota, but that doesn’t matter! The Native American tribal lands are recognized as sovereign areas, free of federal and state jurisdiction, and the Santee Sioux tribe will be taking advantage of that.

The Santee Sioux tribe is a 400 member tribe, and plans to open a resort on New Year’s Eve dedicated to marijuana use. Their resort will grow marijuana, have a smoke lounge, arcade games, and other adult oriented entertainment. The tribal president, Anthony Reider, describes it as an “adult playground,” and projects it to make 2 million dollars per month. For a 400 member community, 2 million dollars a month is an incredible amount a revenue!

I also think this is exciting because I think that it will create a shift in drug policy for the state of South Dakota. Drug policy change, especially in terms of marijuana, is all about exposure. Maybe not direct use, but exposure to someone else using marijuana. This humanizes the issue of the Drug War and gives its victims a face. South Dakotans will be able to see marijuana use right near their very own communities, and they will be able to see that the fuss was nothing to fuss about to begin with.

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About Author

John Knetemann currently attends South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a chapter leader for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. John has had a passion for drug policy reform since he was a senior in high school, and hasn’t looked back since. Along with his work in SSDP, he is a part of the North American Executive Board for Students For Liberty. You can find John on Twitter.


  1. Tammy J. Ellis on

    Native Americans shouldn’t have to worry about it. It’s their things anyways.

  2. Hey Weedblog,
    I’d love to know more about what other Tribes are doing. This seems like a great way to get a form of legalization, before the inevitable complete nationwide legalization which will eventually come. In the meanwhile, the East Coast could use some Tribal resorts. Please keep us updated.

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