If you ever thought the legal pot thing would go down nice and mellow anywhere, from Salt Spring Island to St. John’s, or Six Nations in between, what were you smoking?
Case in point. Sunday’s gathering at Yogi’s Barn, 2318 Chiefswood Road, Ohsweken, to discuss the results of a recent survey about cannabis use and regulation in the Six Nations community.
The survey in question shows massive support (in the 80 to 90 per cent range, based on answers from 731 respondents) for the availability of marijuana in their territory and for the “sovereign right” of the Six Nations people to “determine their own path and choices regarding cannabis.”
The meeting, attended by about 40 people, was convened by Jeff Hawk, owner, and Aaron Sault, manager, of Green Health For Six, the cannabis dispensary (raided by Six Nations Police Jan. 9).
They not only commissioned the survey, but worded the questions and sent out the questionnaires (through a random post office mailing on the reserve and, it seems, among some New Credit people). Then they compiled the results.
According to the survey, 88 per cent of respondents use marijuana, 72 per cent on a daily basis.
“Even a majority of those who don’t consume still believe marijuana should be on the reserve for medicinal purposes (94.9 per cent). And a little less (86.4 per cent) favour it for recreational purposes,” said Sault, who outlined the results to the gathering.
Most at the meeting seemed to favour the findings of the survey. But hardly all.
During the long question period after the presentation, Barb Smith, who lives in Ohsweken, asked, “How many New Credit? The survey was mailed out to both.”
Sault promised he would email the information to her later.
“You should know now. You’re dealing with councils. You’re New Credit,” Smith shot back.
Audrey Hill, also of Six Nations, said: “There are flaws in the survey, and your data is sometimes mixed and obscured. If you do a survey, you should do it well. But it’s a good start. My hat’s off to you.”
Hawk, the dispensary owner who led the meeting, argued that the survey demonstrates the will of the people. He praised the medicinal and recreational virtues of marijuana, and also questioned why a methadone clinic is allowed to operate on the reserve when it is, according to Hawk, not wanted. And yet marijuana, which according to Hawk is wanted, gets blackballed.