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Oklahoma Senator Files Bill to Reduce Drugs on Tribal Lands

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford has introduced legislation that's intended to help reduce illegal drug use on tribal lands.

The bill known as the KIDS Act would prohibit Indian tribes and tribal organizations that cultivate, manufacture or distribute marijuana on Indian land from receiving federal funds. Lankford says some tribes have experimented with various forms of marijuana cultivation.

Lankford, a Republican member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, filed the bill Thursday. He says American Indians experience the highest death rate due to illegal drugs in the nation.

Indian Health Service deputy director Robert McSwain said during a committee meeting in June that American Indians tend to begin using alcohol and drugs at a younger age and use them more often than any other ethnic group in America.