Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians may legalize recreational cannabis


On Thursday, tribal citizens will consider legalizing the recreational use of cannabis on the tribe’s reservation in western North Carolina.

Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will vote Thursday on whether their Tribal Council should legalize the recreational use of marijuana on their reservation in western North Carolina.

Although the state still criminalizes the possession of even small amounts of marijuana, the sovereign tribal nation has the authority to regulate cannabis on the Qualla Boundary, the tribe’s 57,000-acre reservation.

The referendum asks whether tribal members support legalizing the possession and use of marijuana for anyone 21 and over and requiring the council to develop legislation to regulate the market.

Tribal Council Chairman Richard French said the 12-member council voted in June to put the question on the ballot to gauge the level of support for legalization.


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