Tribes are posed with a dilemma - whether the cannabis plant offers Tribes and their members a chance to enter into the Universe of Healing through the Great Spirit’s plants or whether we will keep our “mind set” closed to growing this medicine plant. I strongly urge Tribes and Tribal Peoples to learn about the healing properties of the cannabis plant and not just condemn it.
Throughout “Indian Country” Tribes should be actively involved in the effort to urge the State and Federal legislative processes that are overwhelmingly headed toward the legalization of medicinal and recreational use of the cannabis plant to include Tribes so that they can regulate cannabis like a State without federal interference. Otherwise, the door will slam shut and Tribes will not be able to exercise their own sovereign decisions in the future to walk into this multi-billion dollar industry.
“Big pharma” gets billions of dollars annually by radiating and injecting chemicals produced by their industry into human bodies. Yet, a natural plant, cannabis, is condemned by many Tribes and Tribal Peoples as a bad “gateway” drug. There needs to be health and wellness cannabis workshops in “Indian Country” to alleviate the cannabis “mystery” and lessen the ignorance of our Native Peoples about the properly regulated, beneficial and medicinal uses of the cannabis plant and what it can give to Indian Country.
Further, there is a confusing proliferation of marijuana conferences that propose to give to their attendee’s advice and direction on how to grow the best plants for lawful purposes. I have gone to these marijuana conferences. Their mission is to encourage Tribes to enter into this lucrative industry, if done legally. What will happen when states, like California, pass laws that legalize “recreational use” of the cannabis plant and its psychoactive properties?
Unfortunately, the recent raids by Federal and State Law enforcement on Tribes in California who have taken the lead in entering the marijuana industry complicate and confuse our tribal understanding of this plant even more. It is my firm belief that Tribes must stand together in our “last stand” so we can, on our own, decide if we want to move in the direction that States have chosen – enacting laws to legalize the cultivation and extraction of the essential oil of the marijuana plant for medicinal purposes.
My advice to any Tribe considering what marijuana/hemp conference to attend is to look very closely at the “substance” and expertise offered by the panelist. In other words, who is speaking on those topics and do they have direct experience in the industry? If they are a patient, you can learn how cannabis facilitated healings. Will those speakers help you genuinely navigate this terrifically confusing terrain so we do not lose our Sovereign Right to decide if we want to enter into this industry? You must guide your own path to learn how Cannabis helps the Body, Mind and Spirit.
I think the 2015 National Cannabis Summit, to be held in Denver, CO on October 12-13 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, is a “one of kind” conference. MJ Conference collaborated with Native Americans and they feature a “tribal track” designed to educate tribal attendees on an extensive variety of issues that must be understood if a Tribe decides to enter into this “budding” industry. Representatives of the cannabis and hemp industries will be there to convey their knowledge to tribal attendees.
The 2015 National Cannabis Summit will be the first ever show to actually merge Tribal and Cannabis Communities together on a large scale. Never before have the two communities been able to network, educate, invest, and shake hands with one another in a genuine way as they will at NCS2015. Patients will tell how they have been helped; healers will tell you how they make the medicine that has facilitated the body to heal itself; hear from industry experts in every aspect of the industry. Do you want to invest? If so, this is the conference for you to find out everything you need to know.
Business between Tribal Communities and the Cannabis Industry is happening. Come to the 2015 National Cannabis Summit to learn the “upside” about all the tools of the trade necessary to be successful and meet the right people in this exiting industry so your Tribe does not miss out.
Dennis G. Chappabitty has been an attorney at law since 1982. He is a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. His practice includes Federal Indian Law and Federal Employment Law.