Oglala Sioux Tribe approves marijuana ordinance, issues guidance
PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, S.D. — The Oglala Sioux Tribe Attorney General’s Office will no longer be charging the crime of possession of marijuana for individuals over the age of 21 having less than one ounce of marijuana (or 1/8 ounce of concentrated THC oil) on their persons. Ordinance 20-66 has passed and became effective November 26, 2020.
It remains illegal, however, for anyone under the age of 21 to possess any quantity of marijuana. Giving or selling marijuana to a minor is illegal and punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 21, who possess a medical marijuana card issued by the Marijuana Commission, may be in possession of marijuana in agreement with their registration.
Smoking marijuana in public places remains illegal; the OST AG views a car operating on public roadways as a public place for the purposes of this ordinance.
Marijuana in excess of one ounce may not be brought on to or taken off of the reservation except for licensed transporters. Driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal.
Persons with prior marijuana convictions or who are currently serving a sentence for possession of marijuana will have their convictions set aside; this applies to possession only, not distribution.
Tribal employees with prior convictions or who use marijuana while not on duty are protected from having it used as a basis for termination or for not being hired (unless required by federal law). However, tribal employees can be penalized by a supervisor for possession or use while in their place of employment or during working hours.
Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety stated that individuals may still be in violation of Federal Law even if the Tribe does not prosecute the offense.