Stephanie Bryan: Poarch Creeks want casino not pot in Florida

Stephanie Bryan. Photo from PBCI

Stephanie Bryan, the chair of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, calls on Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to come to the table and negotiate a Class III gaming compact:
Today, our Poarch Creek Tribe is federally recognized with trust lands in our ancestral homelands of Alabama and North Florida. It is our land in Nokomis that has been the focus of our efforts to negotiate a gaming compact with the state of Florida. But, recent roadblocks in those negotiations, a lack of understanding of our status as a federally recognized tribe and sensationalized media headlines indicate a need to reiterate our legal rights pertaining to the property, as well as how we plan to use it.

So, let me be clear. We are a federally recognized Indian tribe and we have been consistent in wanting to build a gaming business in Florida. In exchange for entering into a compact with the state, we have committed to sharing revenue and honoring existing compacts.

During a recent media interview that focused on our rights as a federally recognized tribe, the reporter asked whether we believe we legally could grow marijuana on our land. We have been advised that the answer to that question is “yes” because we are a federally recognized tribe, the same legal status that entitles us to negotiate a gaming compact with Florida.

Let me clarify, though: While it appears that we are legally entitled to do so, we have no plans to grow marijuana on our land.

We do have plans to replicate in Florida what we have done in Alabama — create jobs and economic security, add to the tax base and fiscal strength of our state, and be good and charitable neighbors.

Get the Story:
Poarch Creek Tribal Chair: No Plans For Pot In Nokomis, We Really Want Scott To Talk Gaming (NorthEscambia 3/16)

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

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Opinion: Poarch Creeks come with slot machines and marijuana (02/27)
Florida governor wants land ruling for Poarch Creek gaming site (2/25)
Poarch Creeks start building on potential gaming site in Florida (2/23)
Poarch Creeks bring up marijuana in Florida gaming deal talks (2/20)

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