The Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation says it will not be exploring the economic potentials of marijuana.
“As a supporter of all articles of Treaty, we don’t in anyway support the use or sale of any intoxicating substance on our lands,” says a letter from Okimahkan Roy Petit.
Petit is quoting the First Nation’s Treaty of not allowing intoxicants on the reserve as reasoning for not selling marijuana.
“No intoxicating liquor shall be allowed to be introduced or sold, and all laws now in force, or hereafter to be enacted, to preserve Her Indian subjects inhabiting the reserves or living elsewhere within Her North-west Territories from the evil influence of the use of intoxicating liquors, shall be strictly enforced.”
The Duck Lake based First Nation says there is a negative stigma associated with marijuana, but it views hemp more positively.
”We are more interested in the low ‘THC’ producing variety known as HEMP as a potential economic development initiative. There are many uses for this plant, it has the ability to be used to produce food, clothing, building materials, bio-fuel and, the oil derived from the flower has the calming effect to symptoms for seizures and Parkinson’s,” writes Petit.
Beardy’s and Okemasis says it could consider growing hemp as it has the land and it will create jobs.
Three other First Nations are considered by the provincial government for retail permits, but all at this point have declined the license.
The Muscowpetung First Nation has its own unlicensed marijuana retail operation and is in a jurisdictional dispute with the provincial government.
(A photo of a hemp plant. Courtesy of leafly.com)