By Steve Elliott
Marijuana could soon be legal on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, just three hours from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Tribal leaders recently passed a resolution to allow a study on how cannabis could be legalized and used on the reservation, reports Brittany Nicholson at News Channel 9. The study will examine using marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in Cherokee, North Carolina, which is considered its own sovereign nation.
"When what's been referred to as the Cole Memorandum was released by the Department of Justice in October of 2014, this really kick-started the whole conversation," said Joey Owle, a a member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and also an organizer of the group Common Sense Cannabis.
Owle presented the feasibility study to the tribal council in October.
"We're talking about a plant, cannabis, marijuana, whether it's a medical application or it's industrial hemp, it's a plant," Owle said. "It has a variety of uses and we shouldn't be neglecting that. We as Cherokee people always used plants for medicine, so that's where were playing into, is our culture."
Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer, predictably enough, is freaking out about "the future of North Carolina" if marijuana becomes legal. The county contains almost 6,000 acres of tribal land.