Monday, July 26, 2021
66° Clear
in Window Rock

Select Page

Letters: Marijuana farmers failed to mention 4 points

This letter is in response to “Farmers who have committed no crime” on May 20, 2021.

In the opinion of the marijuana farmers in Northern Agency, they state they have not committed a crime. But to my opinion, the marijuana farmers, along with Dineh Benally, have committed a major drug crime that the United States has not seen on an Indian reservation.

The marijuana farmers did not follow any regulations to cultivate marijuana and hemp or receive an approval letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

This is according to the 2018 Farm Bill, that any state, territory or tribe wanting to cultivate in the hemp or marijuana industry must apply for an approval. With the 2018 Farm Bill, there are regulations that need to be followed such as putting in a system to test the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component of marijuana.

With the Operation Gold raid that happened in November 2020, law enforcement included our own Navajo Nation, local law enforcement and Federal Bureau of Investigation found 60,000 pounds of pure grade marijuana growing on farmlands in Gad’iiahi, Hogback and Shiprock communities.

Our law enforcement did their job, which included ensuring safety by detaining individuals involved in the sealed search warrants on these marijuana farmlands. Thank you, law enforcement, for doing your job in shutting down the illegal marijuana operation.

What the marijuana farmers neglected to report during their public outcry of unfairness, etc., is they failed to report not only that they were growing illegal marijuana and hemp on tribal lands with no proper documentation or approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Navajo Nation.

First, they failed to mention they were selling and sub-leasing their farmlands to foreign individuals to make a profit off of illegal marijuana and they failed to follow BIA regulations in subleasing farmlands. The foreign entities lied to community members saying they wanted to grow vegetables on Navajo farmlands.

Second, the marijuana farmers also failed to report that they took part in human trafficking, breaking child labor laws, developing man-camps and throwing drinking parties. They paid our own local community members and teenagers with low wages and marijuana to work with dangerous pesticides with no personal protective equipment.

Third, they also failed to mention how they allowed the water flow diversion of San Juan River, illegal water drilling on farmlands, illegally tapping into our electrical grids for power, illegal septic disposal with illegal trash dump and wastewater disposal sites.

Fourth, they failed to report how they damaged the roads, cattle guards and cutting nearby farm fences to gain access to their marijuana farms.

Lastly, the marijuana farmers failed to mention that their marijuana leader, Dineh Benally, evoked violence and intimidation tactics on community members who stood up to him. Dineh Benally even evoked paying community members off with money to keep them quiet.

These are a few of the items the marijuana farmers forgot to mention during their press release.

So, if the San Juan River Farm Board, not the Shiprock Farm Board as mentioned, voted as a committee with representatives from each farming community to move towards revoking the marijuana farmers land use permits, I strongly agree with them.

Our ancestors did not fight for our lands to allow the marijuana farmers to sublease their farmlands to outside entities to cultivate marijuana and hemp. The marijuana farmers were permitted farmlands to grow and cultivate our own Native foods of corn, squash, beans, melons, etc., to feed our families and communities.

Now if the marijuana farmers don’t follow the regulations of farming and they don’t want to grow those Native foods, they need to give up their farm permits to others who can make use of those lands to grow these staples. The marijuana farmers were given warnings to stop the illegal marijuana cultivation, but yet they continued to disregard those warnings.

To conclude, marijuana and hemp cultivation is illegal on the Navajo Nation. As adults, the marijuana farmers broke several laws and now they have to pay adult consequences. Just be patient, the penalties are forthcoming.

Michael J. Roy
Gad’iiahi, N.M.

Shorthanded, understaffed

Aye, I don’t understand some people (“Girl possibly killed by dogs in Fort Defiance”).

If these people that owned the dogs had time to lock up and hide the dogs, they had the time to tend to her and call an ambulance. Maybe then she would have survived. They should be charged with manslaughter due to negligence.

A while back I had my son’s dog chewed up real bad. The whole esophagus was exposed. It was done by my niece’s pit bull.

I called the tribal ranger and they referred me to animal control. I left a few voicemails before they called back and left a massage to text photos of my son’s dog to him. That’s as far as it went. Shorthanded, understaffed!

Is there a solution to this problem? It’s not just this department, but all enforcement agencies.

Ernest Jones
Chinle, Ariz.

What are changes proposed for Postal Service?

Around 7 p.m. on May 21, 2021, I watched the Rachel Maddow show on Dish, Channel 209, and learned that Postmaster General Louis Dejoy, who is still in office, is proposing to make more changes to the mail services that are not good particularly for the rural areas.

What I watched is available at the website given below. The show covers other topics first (starts at 33.52):

You could also Google Rachael Maddow 5/21/21.

I Googled, “What is Louis Dejoy proposing for us postictal service” and scroll down to USPS 10-year plan and the first paragraph stated the following:

“Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, describing his 10-year plan as necessary to stanch billions of dollars in losses and put the agency on the path to profitability. But critics are voicing concerns about key elements of the plan, including slower delivery standards and planned closures of some postal offices.”

When I call Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock for prescription refill, I hear about how many days it will take for the prescriptions to be delivered for mail order. How many people will be affected by these proposed changes?

Public comment is open now to June 22, 2021.

I Googled Postal Regulatory Commission and got the following address, phone and fax numbers: 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268-0001. Phone: 202-789-6800. Fax: 202-789-6891.
Please share and contact your leaders, organizations and political individuals to submit their public comments about the proposed changes. If anyone has any information related to this subject, please share. Be safe.

Nancy Todea
Shiprock, N.M.


Weather & Roads

Window Rock Weather

67% humidity
wind: 5mph SW
H 87 • L 54

More weather »