Seemingly frustrated that Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) won’t come to the negotiating table, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians say they may use their trust land to grow marijuana. That’s not to say they have made a decision, but they seem to be hoping to get some leverage and get the governor to sit down for gaming compact talks.
The one acre Poarch Creek site is located in Nokomis, Florida, about 20 miles from their tribal headquarters in Atmore, Alabama and near the largest of their casinos – Wind Creek Atmore Casino & Hotel. The land was placed in trust in 1984 so apparently it qualifies under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Florida Governor Scott is refusing to negotiate a gaming compact saying he believes the tribe needs a further federal determination first. About a week ago, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) announced he had changed his mind and won’t be negotiating a Class III compact with the tribe either.
The U.S. Department of Justice instructed federal prosecutors last year to not interfere with tribes if they decide to grow and sell marijuana on reservation lands. Although it hasn’t been attempted yet, last week the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin indicated they would travel that path. See: With casino plans dashed Menominee look to agriculture