US tribe votes to end alcohol ban16th August, 2013 by Andy Young
Members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe have voted to end a prohibition on alcohol at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Spokeswoman Toni Red Cloud said the tribe members had voted 1,871 to 1,670 to end prohibition on the reservation, which is one of the poorest areas in the US.
The tribal council now needs to decide how to regulate alcohol in the community. Prohibition has existed on the reservation since it was established in 1889, except for a brief period during the 1970s.
A draft ordinance was circulated before this week’s vote, which outline a tribe monopoly on alcohol importation and sale on the reservation, with a new government department to organise tribe-run alcohol shops.
The ordinance also called for profits from the sale of alcohol on the reservation to be used to set up detox centres as well as counselling and treatment services.
The law prohibiting alcohol on the reservation has been largely flouted with four alcohol shops located just outside the reservation boundary. Reuters reported that a shop in the town of Whiteclay, which borders the reservation and has a population of around 15, sold the equivalent of 162,100 cases of beer in 2012.