Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017
Source: Intelligencer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017, The Belleville Intelligencer
Author: Jason Miller
Page: A4


The Kenhteke Cannabis Association is pushing back against the Mohawk
band council and Tyendinaga police.

The association is hosting a meeting on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Reserve
to address recent statements about the legality of marijuana
dispensaries in the community.

"We uphold our people's traditional decision making process through
our Clans, Nation, and Confederacy," a statement released by the group
reads. "We do not recognize the authority or jurisdiction of foreign
entities such as the Tyendinaga Police or the elected band council on
our lands, culture, economy, and politics."

The meeting - to be staged at Sadie's Lane Longhouse, 5 p.m. today
(Wednesday) - has been endorsed by 10 cannabis businesses on the Territory.

Police were presented a statement by the group, which came on the
heels of Mohawk Police Chief Ron Maracle stating "proactive policing"
is needed to address the proliferation of what he, and Chief R. Donald
Maracle of the Mohawk Band Council, deemed illegal marijuana
dispensaries on the Mohawk Territory.

The statement indicated the group had traditional right as Onkwehon
people to provide access to cannabis products and other natural
medicines in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

"Cannabis is a healing plant and we are providing it as a medicine for
people who need it," the statement reveals. "Our activities heal
people and do not cause them harm. As Onkwehon people we have an
intrinsic right to use natural medicines to heal ourselves, and an
intrinsic responsibility to provide medicine to all those who need

In a recent interview with our newsroom Chief R. Donald Maracle said
the Mohawk band council has made it clear it won't be endorsing the
marijuana dispensaries on the territory.

"They're not legal," he said. "The police have already gone around to
the businesses to make them aware of that. People are anticipating
that the laws are going to change, so they're setting up much earlier
than the law."

Chief Maracle said the dispensaries have not been issued licences by
council and there is no plan to do so.

"Council cannot assure the quality of the product," he said.
"Marijuana sold in other jurisdictions has been found to be laced with
fentanyl, so that is a concern."

It is now in the hands of the police.

"The enforcement of the law is a police decision," said Chief R.
Donald Maracle.

The Kenhteke Cannabis Association, has responded in writing saying it
"will not tolerate the Tyendinaga Police or the Elected Band Council
encroaching on our rights and responsibilities and trying to usurp the
authority of our clans and decision making structures.

"Any attempt to close down our operations will be treated as a threat
to our livelihood and an interference in our way of life and will be
dealt with accordingly. We are willing to meet and council with those
who wish to discuss this matter further with us."
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MAP posted-by: Matt