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Oglala Sioux tribe members to vote on alcohol ban

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Native American tribe that has long battled the devastating effects of alcoholism is planning to ask its tribal members whether it should legalize alcohol on its South Dakota reservation.

The Oglala Sioux tribal council voted 9-7 Tuesday to bring the question of legalizing alcohol on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to a public vote.

Alcoholism is rampant on the reservation because people sneak in beer and liquor from nearby border towns such as Whiteclay, Nebraska. The question of legalizing alcohol for revenue for the tribe has caused deep division among tribal members.

Alcohol was legalized on the reservation for two months in 1970. It was restored two months later. An attempt to allow it in 2004 died after an outcry.

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