By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Staff
Tribal Council made changes to drug code for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians when dealing with small amounts of marijuana. Ord. No. 380 was submitted by Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed; Jeremy Wilson, EBCI governmental affairs liaison; and Joey Owle, Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and passed 11-1.
Changes were made to Cherokee Code Sec. 14-95.5 (Possession of a controlled substance) that changed the amount of marijuana one could possess before being charged with a class C penalty from one-half of an ounce to one ounce. It also eliminated the word ‘aggravated’ in the charge leaving simply ‘possession of marijuana’. It also raised the amount of “extracted resin of marijuana, commonly known as hashish” one can legally possess from one-twentieth of an ounce to three-twentieths of an ounce.
The legislation also amended the law to add a class D penalty known as ‘underage possession of marijuana’ for anyone under the age of 21 who is found in possession of any amount of marijuana or hashish.
Several changes were made to Cherokee Code Sec. 14-95.11 (Drug paraphernalia) which eliminated certain items associated with marijuana use from the list of banned items including: “separation gins and sifters for removing twigs and seeds from, or otherwise cleaning or refining, marijuana” and “objects, commonly called roach clips, for holding burning material, such as a marijuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand”.
One more change was to 14-95.6 (Manufacture, sell or deliver, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver of a controlled substance). The following sentence, in subsection (C), was deleted, “The transfer of less than five grams of marijuana for no renumeration shall not constitute a delivery.”
Following Council’s vote, Chief Sneed told