The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians is seeking more than $25,000 in damages from Mendocino County for 847 marijuana plants it claims were illegally eradicated from its rancheria by law enforcement last year.
It’s one of at least two claims filed against the county in connection with tribe-sanctioned cannabis operations, a growing movement among Indian nations seeking new sources of revenue. The Pinoleville Pomo Nation last year filed a claim for the eradication of more than 400 plants on its rancheria just outside Ukiah but has yet to file a lawsuit. Both tribes contend the marijuana was for medicinal use.
Pot cultivation as an economic enterprise on tribal land “is presenting itself statewide,” said Mendocino County Sheriff’s Lt. Shannon Barney, who is a member of a northern Mendocino County tribe.
The tribe’s claim seeks restitution for the confiscated plants, agricultural infrastructure and materials, and the labor costs of growing the plants.
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