The major reason why the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana has proceeded is because state governments have acted on their own to bring this about. But this week's news marks the first time that a Native American tribe has lifted the ban on the sale of pot.
, the Squamish Native American tribe signed an agreement with Washington legislators in Olympia that permits a marijuana store to open up in Kitsap County. Last year, President Obama signed an order that treated sales of pot the same way as it does with the states.
The Squamish agreement calls for tax revenues on sales of marijuana to be spent on "essential services" for the tribe. Much of the deal mirrors the existing pact between the state and the tribe regarding cigarette sales, although the marijuana will be tracked in the same manner as with all other Washington retailers.
The big difference is that the Squamish will not have to pay the 37 percent excise tax levied on marijuana sales at state-licensed retailers. However, don't look for a rush to the Kitsap County store by bargain hunters - the agreement calls for the Squamish to charge an equivalent tax to nontribal customers.
The store's planned location is just off Highway 305 in Poulsbo, which is across Puget Sound from Seattle. Tribal officials are eyeing a November opening for the retailer. In addition, the Squaxin Island Tribe is looking to negotiate a similar deal with Olympia by the end of this month.