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Quapaw Tribe interested in cultivating marijuana for medical uses

A cattle herd grazes near the Quapaw Tribe's Downstream Casino Resort. Photo from Spur Ranch / Facebook

Add the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma to the list of potential marijuana growers in Indian Country.

Chairman John Berrey said the tribe is interesting in cultivating marijuana for medical purposes. Agriculture is already a key part of the Quapaw economy -- the tribe already grows its own produce and maintains cattle and bison herds.

“If there really is a medical benefit and there's an economic benefit for tribes there I think it would be a big step,” Berrey told KTUL.

Berrey's views, however, aren't shared by his counterparts in the state. The Muscogee Nation and the Pawnee Nation aren't interested in the drug, their leaders said.

“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,” Muscogee Chief George Tiger told KTUL.

“Why raise something we are trying to get our people away from?” Pawnee President Marshall Gover added.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But a new Department of Justice policy could open the door to tribes that want to legalize the drug.

The legal, economic and social issues surrounding marijuana will be discussed at the first-ever Tribal Marijuana Conference next month in Washington.

Get the Story:
Could You Soon Buy Pot on Oklahoma Tribal Lands? (KTUL 1/30)

Relevant Documents:
Department of Justice Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country (October 2014)

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