Could You Soon Buy Pot on Oklahoma Tribal Lands?
The U.S. Department of Justice has ruled that Indian nations can grow and sell recreational marijuana on tribal land, but will we soon see Indian pot shops in Oklahoma?
The policy was created after several western states legalized pot.
While some Oklahoma tribes are studying their options, the nation's in the Tulsa area, aren't interested.
Marijuana is still against the law and they're not comfortable with the subject.
"I don't think as a nation we would even look into it right now because abuse is abuse - whether its alcohol or drugs and that's not part of our history our culture," said George Tiger, Muscogee Creek Nation Principal Chief
While the Oklahoma tribes are reluctant, many Indian leaders also acknowledge that in the decades ahead the laws and attitudes may be different.
Chief Tiger won't be pushing for marijuana here.
The director, of the state Bureau of narcotics is glad. He says legalizing pot sales, wouldn't be a good for the state.
"We believe that nothing really good comes out of legalization," Director R. Darrel Weaver said. "There are scores of issues coming out of Colorado now, that is probably not as pleasant as what they thought and the revenue is not as high."
The leaders of Pawnee Nation say the marijuana profits aren't worth the problems they'd cause.
They don't see drugs as a legitimate business opportunity, because it conflicts with their historic values.
"Why raise something we are trying to get our people away from?" said Marshall Gover, president of the Pawnee Business Council. "Money isn't everything, sometimes principals are worth more than cash."
Quapaw tribe leaders aren't saying no to marijuana. Their tribe already has green houses to grow organic herbs and vegetables for their casino. So they're looking at using them to grow no-intoxicating, medical marijuana.
"If there really is a medical benefit and there's an economic benefit for tribes there I think it would be a big step," Quapaw Nation Chairman John Berrey said.
The chairman says medical marijuana fits in with the natural remedies of Native Americans. However, the only new smoke he expects in their casino is from a cigar bar that's being planned.
Only three tribes have contacted the federal government about the specifics for recreational marijuana. They're in California, Oregon and Washington.