Photo: AP/Elaine Thompson, File
Aug 24, 2015
ABC 5 - A majority of voters in the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin approve of legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana.
The tribe conducted a referendum vote Wednesday and Thursday, and the results were announced Friday.
According to the results, 677 tribal members voted in favor of approving recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 years and older and 494 members voted against it.
For medical marijuana, 899 tribal members voted in favor of it and 275 members voted against it.
The results of the referendum aren’t binding and are considered advisory, according to the tribe. They won’t affect the current Tribal Controlled Substance Ordinance, which prohibits marijuana on the reservation, and they don’t change federal mandates about drug-free workplace requirements.
The vote does, however, mean that the discussion may continue further at the Legislative level.
Marijuana manufacturing, distribution and possession will still be illegal until a change is made by the Menominee Tribal Legislature, but tribal leaders say the vote was meant to explore ways to diversify the tribe’s economy
, create jobs and create revenue to fund health, education, social, law enforcement and other services.
If the tribe decides to legalize recreational and medical marijuana
, anyone over the age of 21 who gets a marijuana purchase permit from the tribe would be able to buy and possess marijuana, as well as anyone who has received a written recommendation or prescription from a medical provider.
The tribe would regulate and tax marijuana, but the cultivation, growth, manufacturing, sale and distribution would be done by private businesses licensed by the tribe.