Allegations of marijuana cultivation performed by immigrant labor have gripped members of the Navajo Nation in recent weeks.
Navajo leaders are now taking on an entrepreneur who is said to be growing 400 acres of hemp and marijuana on the tribe’s land in the southwestern United States. The entrepreneur and Navajo member, Dineh Benally, has reportedly “formed a partnership with a Las Vegas company that says it develops hemp and cannabis businesses on Native American lands,” according to the Arizona Republic.
The newspaper reported that tribal leaders have taken Benally to court to stop the cultivation, landing a victory last week when a district judge imposed a temporary restraining order on the hemp farming.
“Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the order grants tribal law enforcement officers authority to stop hemp production. Navajo Nation police have begun asking some workers on the hemp farms — people law enforcement officials claim are immigrant workers from Asia — to leave tribal land,” the Arizona Republic reported. “The ruling appears to provide a brief break in the dispute that came to a head this summer over the legality of Benally’s operation, which he claims has also provided employment for more than 200 members