One story we came across was about two Lakota Indian squaws from Arizona who were in the wilderness when they came across a couple of Indian hunters looking for buffalo. One of the Indian hunters apparently became love struck by the beauty of one of the Lakota squaws and placed his hands upon her in some fashion. The story said a mist appeared and temporarily caused an illusion in where the Indian hunter perished and only his bones were found. As the story goes, the other Indian hunter who was still alive and well offered the Lakota squaw’s a peace pipe and this is how it all unfolded. The Lakota squaw’s were told they were to smoke the pipe during all celebrations and treaties and that it would bring peaceful thoughts to their minds. Additionally, If they use it when praying to the Strong One above and to Mother Earth they would be sure to receive blessings.
Thus, one can assume the pipe was used as a marijuana pipe or as some would say “peyote.” What is peyote? Lophophora williamsii is a cactus in essence and was thought to be used for many purposes over the past 5,500 years. The pronunciation of peyote is mainly used by the Spanish. The Indians pronounce the word as peyoti and have used it for mediation and psychotherapy. The plant blooms between March & May every year and produces a pink flower. So, were the Indians smoking flowers? No not hardly, they were most likely smoking peyoti if you were to look closely. Keeping focus here, the question is will the Indian tribal members allow the use of recreational marijuana inside their casinos. We called the Morongo band of Mission Indians located in Cabazon, CA. about 120 miles east of Los Angeles to get their thoughts on the issue.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, we learned from a federally recognized tribal member the use of marijuana on tribal land would not be out of the question but the bigger question is how would they regulate it on their reservations. The tribal member seemed to sway the conversation to his own tribal members versus guests coming on to the reservation for entertainment. The member was quick to say the BIA or better termed Bureau of Indian Affairs in the State of Arizona would probably play a big part in the decision making process as they govern and or assist all tribal bands across the state. We asked the member if he ever thought it would be possible for a person to enter the casino and sit at a slot machine and smoke a joint? He smiled and said he could see it happening as long as it was not in the non-smoking section. We all laughed and agreed to his unique answer.
Seriously though, when we asked the tribal member if he believed the Indians would likely follow along with whatever the current laws were, he said they would but that since they are a sovereign nation they would most likely apply their own amendment to such laws. We asked the member if agreed with a government petition for the use of recreational marijuana, he said he did and that is the way of passing a peace pipe. When asked about the peace pipe, he laughed and said yes most likely over the years peyoti was the likely substance which was being smoked. He did say he had to be careful about what he said because they have scared celebrations in where the peyoti is still being consumed and it is deep rooted within their culture. We asked him what he thought about liquor vs. marijuana and he simply explained it was a no brainer and said as long as both are consumed responsibly there should not be a problem. The tribal member said, “You know the Indians have been passing the peace pipe for years and it looks time to pass it again.”