October 04, 2012

Oglala Sioux may allow alcohol

Tribe Considers Lifting Alcohol Ban in South Dakota

By Timothy WilliamsThe Oglala Sioux Tribe will propose lifting an alcohol ban on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as a way to regulate the flow of beer and malt liquor onto the reservation, which has been plagued by alcohol problems for years, officials said Thursday.

Pine Ridge is a dry reservation where tribal members can be arrested if the police even suspect signs of drunkenness, like slurred speech or a wobbly gait. The reservation has disproportionately high rates of health and crime problems related to drinking.
And:Mr. Big Boy said lifting the ban would help the tribe control habitual alcohol consumption, reduce drunken-driving fatalities and use tax revenue to finance diversion and education programs. Pine Ridge is the only reservation in South Dakota that prohibits alcohol.

“I think it’s time to legalize alcohol,” Mr. Big Boy said. “It would reduce the risk of people going to border towns and endangering their lives, and we could use the money to build a family treatment center.”
Comment:  I'm not sure anyone thinks prohibition is working at Pine Ridge. Getting political relief from Nebraska or legal relief from a court seems unlikely. Maybe it's time to try this. Put a time limit on it so the ban resumes if drinking becomes even more of a problem.

For more on the subject, see Pine Ridge Gets Media Attention and Judge Dismisses Whiteclay Lawsuit.

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:


Whiteclay Heats Up As Tribe Reconsiders Prohibition

As the protest on the border continues–the tribal council is considering a resolution putting the prohibition itself up to a tribal vote in 2014. Council member Larry Eagle Bull reluctantly backs the idea of legalizing alcohol here. While he recognizes the perils of alcohol use, he says the tribe could benefit from taxing sales to pay for treatment programs.

“It’s a very, very serious issue this alcohol. We’ve been dry for so long. But you have to look at reality, it’s here. It’s not going anywhere,” says Eagle Bull.

Back in the protest camp near Whiteclay those like Olowan Martinez are criticizing tribal council members who want to allow alcohol.

“They’re cannibals, because they want to profit. They want to gain something off the misery of their own. To me that’s a form of cannibalism,” says Martinez.