Pot info meeting opens lively discussion

OHSWEKEN — Several weeks ago a public meeting was held at Yogi’s Barn where the results of extensive surveys amongst Six Nations residents about the positive values of medical marijuana as well as what is known as recreational pot.

At that meeting, it was suggested that another information meeting dedicated to the perceived negative effects of marijuana use could be presented as well. That meeting took place at the Six Nations Community Hall Tuesday night.

The presentation was made by the community service group known as the Cannabis Street Team. About 100 people attended with their questions and their opinions, although the later was discouraged for the sake of time.

A large turnout at the Six Nations Community Hall gathered to talk about medical marijuana and its effect on the mind, body and society at large. It was by and large respectful and informational although there were several challenges to some of the information brought forth. Photo by Jim Windle

The presentation covered many aspects of the Marijuana plant, but it also sought the position of the traditional chiefs council which was that since marijuana is a mind changer, and so they would stand against the open sales and use of pot for any purpose.

The presentation was well crafted and delivered by members of the Street Team which includes Brantford Blast hockey star, Cam Sault, who did most of the presentation.

It seemed there was as many firmly against it as firmly for it, but as the Q&A progressed, the source of some of their materials was questioned.

The meeting was certainly informational for non-users and for some served to compound their fears, categorizing pot as a drug on the same moral equivalence as hard drugs like crack or opioids. There was information gathered from the Toronto Police in a seminar the Team attended about how legal marijuana was going to look come this fall when it becomes legal and later when recreational pot is also legalized.

Driving under the influence could result in serious penalties, not unlike drunk driving. Young drivers who have been driving for two years or less will be subject to a zero-tolerance policy.

“No level of marijuana will be allowed in the system,” according to Sault. “First offence drivers will a 3-day suspension and a $250 fine. Reoffenders fines and suspensions will increase with each offence.”

That is not even talking about an impaired driving charge which could result in a loss of one’s drivers licence or even jail time.

Health concerns for pregnant women were also talked about as was the known adverse emotional and phycological effects of marijuana use among young children or developing teens. Those concerns are quite real and have also been voiced in pro-pot circles as well as anti-pot circles.

General mental health concerns presented by the Street Team include depression and anxiety.

They also challenged the much-repeated notion that pot has been proven effective for the post-traumatic stress disorder, saying there is no evidence to support a connection.

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