Pubdate: Sat, 19 Dec 2015
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2015 The Oregonian
Author: Noelle Crombie


Members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs said yes to 
growing, processing and selling marijuana on the recreational market 
in a historic vote Thursday that drew record turnout, tribal officials said.

The referendum passed with 86 percent approval, said Don Sampson, CEO 
of Warm Springs Ventures, the tribes' economic development 
corporation, the group behind the proposal.

Sampson said Friday that the election drew about 1,400 voters who 
"turned out even in a winter storm." Voter turnout among younger 
tribal members was especially strong.

Sampson called the vote "democracy in action" and said the tribes' 
marijuana enterprise will bring "much needed jobs and revenue to the 
Warm Springs people."

"Tribal citizens demonstrated the power of their vote," he said.

He said the tribe will develop a "model" of regulated cannabis for 
other tribes to follow nationwide.

Warm Springs is the latest Native American tribe to enter the 
regulated marijuana market. Legal experts estimate that no more than 
a dozen tribes nationwide have started up marijuana enterprises.

The Warm Springs proposal calls for production and processing at a 
facility on the reservation with marijuana sales at three tribal run 
stores off the reservation. Marijuana possession, while legal in 
Oregon, remains illegal on the warm springs reservation.

Thursday's vote is the first step in the process of entering the 
market. The tribe will meet with officials in Gov. Kate Brown's 
office to hash out the conditions under which the enterprise will operate.

Two tribes in Washington recently brokered historic agreements with 
the state to sell marijuana on the state's recreational market.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom