“The effective prayer of a righteous man [or woman] can accomplish much.” James 5:16b
At the monthly Flandreau CWA Prayer/Action Chapter meeting, members continued in prayer concerning the Santee Sioux Tribe’s plan to open a recreational marijuana lounge on tribal property. The ladies discussed what they might do to counteract these plans, which had been a prayer concern since June when the local tribe announced intentions to grow and sell pot. While marijuana is illegal in South Dakota, the U.S. Department of Justice has granted Native American tribes the power to legalize marijuana on their lands.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is a part of the Flandreau community, and the CWA Chapter desires the best for the native people and the entire town. The CWA members discussed what action they could take but were not exactly sure what to do. When the ladies learned that a quarterly business meeting was scheduled at the Flandreau casino the Saturday after their CWA Chapter meeting, the ladies decided to put feet to their prayers. Calls were made to mobilize citizens in a peaceful protest on the public sidewalk surrounding the casino. Between 40-50 people greeted tribal executives as they arrived, and many prayers were offered as protesters walked.
Later in the day, a news story broke that the marijuana plants had been burned, and the business venture temporarily suspended. The tribal attorney stated that the council wanted to work with the federal government on the clarification of regulations regarding the growth and distribution of marijuana before proceeding.
Attorney General Marty Jackley stated that the suspension is “positive and is in the best interest of both tribal and non-tribal members.” Jackley has availed himself to the tribal leaders along with legal counsel representing the marijuana trade. Further concerns were voiced by law enforcement who would expect an increase in automobile accidents, addictions, drug trafficking and all the crime associated with illegal drugs.
Ellen Bergman, leader of Flandreau’s CWA Prayer/Action Chapter stated, “Already the native people are plagued with addictions to drugs, alcohol and gambling, contributing to depression and family breakdown. Why would they want to throw marijuana into the mix? These are a precious people. We urge them to preserve their rich heritage and culture by seeking a respectable business enterprise.”
The Flandreau CWA members are thankful for a mighty act of God that allowed this crop of plants to be destroyed and the plan put on hold. The local CWA Prayer/Action Chapter will continue to be vigilant in coming days and months to see that this suspension is made permanent.