After asking quite a few people on Six Nations if they remember the police raiding any of our smoke shops back in the 1980s or 1990s, they all said no – our cops didn’t raid our own smoke shops back in the day. Someone said that a shop on highway 54 was in fact raided by RCMP but the local cops did not take action against our own back then. What has changed?
We never practiced authority until recently. If we are going to have these types of European systems in place it should be done with extra care for justice and compassion.
At the Six Nations Cannabis Commission (SNCC) meeting last Wednesday a dispensary owner from third line with the last name Lickers showed legal paperwork that was given to him by Constable Tim Bomberry and he said he was told to shut down right away or be charged in accordance with Ontario’s Cannabis Control Act.
Other cannabis shops that had a reputation for safe, medicinal quality weed have been shut down on Six Nations, over the course of many years. Debates about jurisdiction and authority aside, there are a few overlapping problems with this entire situation.
The public wants to know why Ontario law isn’t being enforced on the hundreds of smoke shops that are selling restricted tobacco – isn’t this hypocritical or selective enforcement? The public also wants to know why crack and pill houses are still functioning without raids or threats given to them. The police should be in difficult situations with criminals not struggling business people who are completely defenseless.
And finally, who is giving the police direction to shut down these dispensaries, is it the Chief of Police? It’s possible that the police commission has given a directive to shut them all down, or maybe the orders are coming from higher up? We deserve to know what is done with the thousands of dollars of high-quality cannabis that is appropriated from Six Nations people! Demand accountability from the police to see what is done with the substances they take from Six Nations businesses.
Six Nations should soon have its own booming cannabis industry. I personally hope that we will have the best cannabis in the world. Instead of punishing impatient business people maybe our community can find a way to reward its members who are experts in cannabis and who are pushing the envelope. Maybe we can find a way to get some of our people out of jail who have been incarcerated for selling cannabis in the past.
Although there have been a few setbacks the Cannabis Commission says they are rewriting the cannabis law and tailoring it to protect our people. It seems like the goal of the SNCC is to create a cannabis industry that is safe and that meets Canadian federal standards. If the SNCC exists to protect our people it should be their job to provide legal defense for the shops that have been legally but unlawfully raided by Six Nations Police.