The centuries-old narrative of the Cherokee Indians, located in North Carolina, is now taking a progressive turn with the recent vote to legalize marijuana in the state. As the country focuses on the power of the Republican party to oppose decisions for cannabis decriminalization, Congressman Mark Meadows, a known Republican from North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, finds himself in a conflict of interest as the state’s Cherokee tribe goes ahead to make a huge move to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
1. North Carolina Native American Tribe Defies GOP Congressman and Legalizes Cannabis
The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina recently legalized recreational cannabis, much to the chagrin of local Congressman Virginia Foxx. Citing their complete sovereignty as a Native American Tribe, the tribe has made it clear they will not answer to external government interference.
The consequences of this decision are a direct defiance of the Congressman, and an affront to federal law. She has steadfastly maintained her stance against the full catalyzation of cannabis, citing her personal beliefs on the matter. Despite her attempts to fight the issue, the tribal court has confirmed that recreational cannabis consumption and possession for adults is legal in the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.
- The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina legally legalized recreational cannabis.
- The decision is a direct defying of local GOP lawmaker, Virginia Foxx.
- Cannabis consumption and possession for adults is now legal on tribal lands.
2. An Indigenous Tribe Finds Strength Through Despite Legal Upheavals
The advocacy efforts of an Indigenous tribe often feel like a daring balancing act. On one hand, they seek to protect their heritage in the face of legal upheavals that threaten it; on the other, they move forward to make sure their tribe marches one step ahead. Despite the obstacles, they remain resilient in their fight for recognition.
From protesting the enforced modification of traditional fishing rights to the threat of territorial erosion, the Indigenous tribe never shy away from standing up for the community’s rights. Their collective strength resonates in every vocal dispute, every unbeaten path they tread. Over time, they have managed to:
- Preserve their traditions
- Reverse unjust decisions
- Remain anchored to their roots
As their resolve has only grown with every attempt to oppress them, the strength of their community continues to inspire. Whether it’s crafting legislation that bolsters their stance or initiating dialogues to bring their plight to light, the Indigenous tribe courageously continues to carve out their space of recognition.
3. Cannabis Legalization Brings Economic Opportunities to North Carolina Native Americans
North Carolina Native American tribes are in a unique position to capitalize on the legalization of cannabis in the state. Legal access to the crop has opened up newfound economic opportunities for tribes, offering a much-needed source of income for their members.
- Agriculture – Growing hemp and marijuana has the potential to create jobs and revenue on tribal lands. Tribes can benefit from the profits of cultivating and selling the crops, or even process them into additional products such as CBD oil or edibles.
- Retail – Serving as retail or dispensaries is a great way for tribes to capitalize on cannabis sales. By directly participating in the trade, they can reap more of the profits, achieve greater autonomy, and retain more of the revenue produced.
In addition to the economic advantages, tribes can also benefit from the implications of increased access to cannabis-derived medicines. Many Native Americans suffer from medical conditions that can be treated with cannabis-based products, offering relief without the need for traditional pharmaceuticals.
4. Native American Tribe Shows the Power of Unanimity in Cannabis Legislation
The Power of Unanimity is on full display in the Pala Band of Mission Indians, a California Native American tribe. After discussing cannabis legislation for over two years, they decided to unite and overwhelmingly approved a recreational cannabis ordinance. This momentous vote was a first for the state, as tribes have greater autonomy over their own legislation than do cities or counties across the state.
The tribe’s cannabis ordinance is the first of its kind to be approved by an entire Native American community in California. Following a pledged effort from Tribal Chairman Robert Smith, the tribal council unanimously approved the ordinance to hasten the tribal regulations for medicinal and recreational cannabis use.
Smith commented that the tribe is proud to be a leader in tribal cannabis reforms and is excited to help Native Americans across California benefit from the fast-growing cannabis industry. The Pala tribe wants to be sure that all of their 1,200 members understand the industry so they are educated about the medical and economic advantages that it can provide.
Reforms that the Pala tribe has implemented include:
- Limiting the cultivation of cannabis to tribal lands.
- Requiring cannabis businesses to adhere to tribal guidelines.
- Allowing the tribe to collect taxes from non-tribal recreational cannabis businesses.
- Reinvesting tribal funds from recreational cannabis sales into social services and education.
The Pala tribe hopes to serve as an example for other tribes as they enter the cannabis industry. It shows that communities who®uch come together can make significant strides in the cannabis sector and become a powerful force in cannabis reform.
This momentous vote marks a new chapter for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the entire state of North Carolina. As the cultural and economic landscape of the United States continues to evolve, we can expect to see similar successes in marijuana legalization and further snubbing of anti-cannabis GOP representatives. It’s clear that the tide is turning, and states across the country could benefit from the freedom and economic opportunities that legal cannabis provides.