How will new referendum affect Pine Ridge? - KOTA Territory News

How will new referendum affect Pine Ridge?

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Tribal election officials on Wednesday confirmed that tribal members, in a public referendum, had voted to overturn the ban on selling and possessing alcohol on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The vote tally was 1843 votes for legalization of alcohol and 1678 votes against.

What's next? When will the law go into effect?

According to tribal member ,Floyd Brings Plenty, the next step is to review and look at all aspects of the referendum which could take some time.

Although the vote was passed he says every little detail must be set in stone before anything can happen.

Only after this happens will it  become legal to drink alcohol on the reservation, but only if it is purchased from a tribal run liquor store or tribal casino.

This essentially means that the tribe will have a monopoly on importation and sale of alcohol.

It will still be illegal for individuals or businesses to sell alcohol on the reservation or bring alcohol onto the reservation.

Many believe the new referendum will bring in millions of dollars of revenue. So where will all this money go?

The profits would be divided into four parts.

25 percent would fund detoxification facilities, 25 percent would go to programs for substance abuse, 25 percent would go to programs benefiting Oglala Sioux youth and the final 25 percent would be shared among the nine district governments and spent on local projects.

Concerns have arisen about regulating who can buy alcohol and there would be strict laws pertaining to this.

No persons under the age of 21 would be able to buy,no person who is intoxicated, mentally ill or known as an habitual drinker will be sold to.

The vendor may also not sell alcohol to someone if family members or an officer has asked that alcohol not be sold to that person.

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