“Our casino has us in $50 million debt,” Shongutsie said Thursday. “(Somewhere) around that. Plus, it was closed down for over a year. We need revenue.”
Elaine Weed, who is Eastern Shoshone, attended the public forum and is hopeful that medical cannabis could help create revenue for the Eastern Shoshone.
It can help “preserve our language and culture,” Weed said, “and help with the Shoshone museum and hot springs, where funding disappeared.”
Eastern Shoshone descendant Job Eagle said he is hopeful that funds from medical marijuana can bring back larger powwows and public events he remembers attending as a kid.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe decriminalized medical cannabis on May 8 after meeting a quorum of 150 people. Still, Northern Arapaho Business Council Chairman Jordan Dresser expects the process to move forward slowly. According to Wind River Radio Network, he said the process could take some time.
Ute, the Eastern Shoshone Business Council member, said he saw a few problems ahead — namely the Shoshone and Arapaho Law and Order Code, which states that both tribes on the Wind River Reservation must vote to change the code. Although, after Northern Arapaho Business Council members walked away from the joint business council in 2014, some Eastern Shoshone believe the Northern Arapaho are no longer supported by the Fort Bridger Treaties of 1863 and 1868.