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North Carolina: Cherokee Leaders Call For Marijuana Study


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, North Carolina, is investigating the possibility of allowing marijuana on the reservation.

Tribal Council members unanimously approved a resolution to conduct a feasibility study, to see if legalizing cannabis for medical, recreational, or industrial purposes would benefit the tribe, reports Rex Hodge at WLOS.

Joseph Owle of Common Sense Cannabis said it could bring in revenue and help those with health issues.

"With our feasibility study we're going to come back with numbers on what can be produced economically for our tribe here ... how it could impact our patients that we see through our health care system."

"There's currently no plan to legalize marijuana on the reservation," said Cherokee Vice Chief Richard Sneed. "That's not even being talked about. There's a feasibility study to gather information."

Residents said they like the idea of medicinal cannabis. "To help people with ... cancer or people with epilepsy," said Denise Welch.

"I think we should get it," said Doug Catt. "It would be good for ... like she said ... medical use ... not for recreational use."

Any kind of marijuana legalization would still have to be decided by a referendum and be voted on by the people.

North Carolina: Former Physician Charged For Growing Marijuana In Garage


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A former physician in North Carolina said he is unapologetic about the changes he faces after cannabis plants were seized from his garage.

Gordon Piland is looking at five felonies and one misdemeanor charge after a raid by Buncombe County Sheriff's investigators, reports Kimberly M. King at WLOS.

Piland admits he had about 30 cannabis plants growing in his garage in his rented home in Candler, N.C. "It's a plant given to us by the creator," he said.

One felony charge is for possession of psilocybin mushrooms; another is for possessing what Piland said is an old bottle of his late brother's prescription Percocet to remind him of his brother's tragic addiction to pain medication.

The rest of the charges are for Piland's possession and and alleged sale of marijuana.

Piland has a medical degree from Wake Forest, but his license to practice was revoked in the 1980s, he said, when cops found more than 100 marijuana plants in his home on the North Carolina coast.

Piland said he considers himself a naturopath, and said he helps ill people who get relief from smoking cannabis. "I'm not doing anything but basically fulfilling my oath as a physician," he said.

"People who have cancer and are trying to treat themselves, some people who are on chemotherapy have looked to me for various forms of cannabis,” Piland said.

North Carolina: Medical Marijuana Advocate Found Guilty; Headed To Prison


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A North Carolina jury took less than an hour on Thursday to find a man who openly ran a medical marijuana operation guilty of drug trafficking.

The jury of six men and six women found Todd Stimson, 44, guilty of two counts of marijuana trafficking in an emotional conclusion to the trial in Henderson County Superior Court, reports Sabian Warren at the Citizen-Times.

Judge Mark Powell sentenced a visibly shaken Stimson to a minimum of 25 months in federal prison, and a maximum of 39 months. Stimson was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Addressing the court in a final plea, his voice shaking as his daughter cried, Stimson said, "I'm sorry that I've taken up your time ... It's not meant to be this way," reports Emily Weaver at the Hendersonville Times-News.

"What I did this time was to stand out and try to be accepted by society and ... work with the state along with the police department, along with the Department of Revenue and everybody (to show the state) that we can work together and get along," Stimson said. "And that's all I set out to do.

"Even though the situation is bad for me, I've done exactly what I wanted to do to raise awareness to ... what happens to people in this situation," Stimson said.

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