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What’s Next for Indian Sovereignty?

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[UPDATE Below]

Kym Kemp, Redheaded Blackbelt, posts an interesting commentary on police raids on the Indian Reservation in Covelo, CA titled: Sovereign Nation Or Subject To Local Laws?Round Valley Marijuana Raids Bring Activists And Tribes TogetherPoses some interesting possibilities.

Are we looking at the no man’s land of Iraq and Afghanistan  in our backyard? More and more the police departments are filling their ranks with these war veterans. The Federal Government has successfully co-opted all the local and state policing authorities, producing a “us or them” mentality that is second only to a total state of paranoia. Notice what she says:

In raids reminiscent of earlier, more stringent law enforcement almost 20,000 plants, 2300 pounds of processed marijuana, 19 firearms and over $40,000 in cash were seized. Over 40 people were arrested. (42 actually)

Trippet describes the raids as very hard-hitting. She says there were “…three days of relentless helicopter noise, hovering at tree top level” over the Round Valley Reservation.  She calls these three days “…a prolonged terrorizing of the town but only the latest assault on Indian people.”

These people coming together should realize the potential consequences of their actions, “bringing activist and Indian tribes together. What do you think will happen when all any of these “Federal, state and local agents” need is to simply smell or get nothing more than just a hint of some kind of activity they can brand or label as some sort of a conspiracy? You already get that smell with the “sovereign nation” issue. What happens when these people determine to defend that sovereignty? These raids were in the light of day. What’s next? Some sort of extra-judicial hunter killer teams working in the dark of the night? 19 guns, 40 people, half of them probably women – what about the children and other innocent people?  The simple accusation of terrorism takes away all legal rights of citizenship.

What I’d like to know is how did they know who to go after?
[PressDemocrat’s October report]

[UPDATE :: Saturday, January 1, 2011]

Here is a copy of a rather interesting comment posted on the Kym’s article above:

Thanks for bringing this up Kym. The ugly face of racism shows it face again in Covelo.
From what I heard, this was more of a military raid on the Indians than a law enforcement action. Whilst those thousand pound crops in the hills go “unnoticed”, the tribes got pounded. Again from hearsay, it was my understanding that the helicopters were flying very low, with manned machine guns in the open sidedoors. They would never get away with doing that around SoHum.
Shortly thereafter the Laytonville Rancheria was subjected to the same low flying helicopters surveillance, but no raids.
I sincerely hope this gets some national press.

I don’t know what makes him think “they” would never get away with a military-style operation in SoHum. Maybe he should take a second look at how the Sheriff’s Department and local police departments are enforcing the law these days. Might start by asking someone that’s on parole how it is.

–Joe

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Just Desserts?

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Bloomberg Businessweek published on MSNBC this rather all inclusive report about marijuana in California.

Reefer sadness for pot farmers

Marijuana growers in California find legalization could be worst thing that ever happened

It was the following excerpt that really pissed me off:

Jason says he clears $150,000 to $200,000 a year in profit from the land surrounding his house, depending on how good the crop is. He earns more from other plots he owns nearby. He doesn’t pay taxes on the income because he doesn’t file a return (“I don’t lie about it. That’s when you get in trouble”). Spending all that cash in the middle of nowhere can be a challenge. He and his wife eat all-organic, and he’s got a few trucks to play with as well as a $28,000 Kubota backhoe. Some of the money is “seasoned” slowly into a bank account, so as not to draw attention.

How long has this been going on?

The 1996 passage of Proposition 215, which legalized the possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical use in California, ushered in a green golden age. *** The very vagueness of the rules created opportunity: Midlevel entrepreneurs such as Jason who were willing to live with the risks and ambiguities of a semi-legitimate market rushed in and thrived, though there are no reliable estimates of how many there are. [Emphasis added]

$200,000 plus tax-free dollars for 10 years or more? No wonder they can thumb their noses at us dummies that work for honest dollars. In all the years that I hired out as a logger or truck driver, even when the wife worked we were lucky to GROSS, in the beginning $20 to $30,000, later it was rare to even get close to $40,000. It wouldn’t bother me to see these people lose all of their ill-gotten gains.

Yeah! I know that just being spiteful. After getting it rammed in all the dark places for 50 years, you sometimes get that way. [Source]

–Joe

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