Raided dispensary owner presents Six Nations pot survey results
Majority of respondents said weed consumption should be regulated by traditional medicine people
A survey of those living on the territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River shows the vast majority of respondents use marijuana daily and more than half want to see weed regulated by "traditional medicine people" according to Haudenosaunee custom.
The survey was distributed by Green Health for Six, a marijuana dispensary owned by Jeff Hawk of the Six Nations Territory of the Wolf Clan of the Cayuga Nation.
Of the 731 people who responded to the survey, 511 said they use marijuana daily with the top reasons being for pain, stress and depression.
When asked who should oversee pot in Six Nations, 379 said "traditional medicine people."
As well, 92.9 per cent of people said adults wanting to purchase medical marijuana should be able to purchase it on reserve dispensaries.
Hawk presented the survey's findings at a community meeting on Sunday.
"It was a small turn out but we had a good meeting, a good discussion, everything went fairly well," Hawk told Craig Norris, host of The Morning Edition on CBC Radio, on Monday.
The survey was distributed to more than 2,200 people. Not every question received an equal number of responses.
Hawk said the survey was a response to actions by the elected band council to "shut [them] down from having community consultations or community talks" about dispensaries in Six Nations.
There is a need to find out if people felt they need dispensaries in their territories, he said.
Band council stance unclear
No one at the band council was immediately available for comment about their stance on marijuana dispensaries at Six Nations.
While from survey results it seems people use marijuana regularly and think they should be able to purchase it from dispensaries at Six Nations, Hawk's dispensary was raided by Six Nations police on Jan. 9. Hawk was charged with possession and trafficking marijuana.
It was the second raid in Six Nations in three months.
The raid came hours after Hawk released a video and Facebook post saying he will be presenting results from that survey on Jan. 28.
In November last year, Six Nations Chief Ava Hill said the band council supports police raids.
At the time, the council was still not firm on its position on marijuana legalization, but Hill said she didn't believe Ontario has jurisdiction in her community with regards to distribution and sale.
Both Hill and Hawk agreed there have not been enough consultations with First Nations people when it comes to legalization.
Hawk said the government had "pretty much left them out of the picture."
In the meantime, Hawk said he had been trying to get a meeting with the band council but hasn't been successful.
He said it could be because the council might have "something else up their sleeves" with plans to either open a dispensary or a grow-op.
"I'm just moving forward every day that I can and just keep moving forward ... and hope that there's a brighter future," Hawk said.