Akwesasne has a long history of weed traffic. While many focus on the illegal tobacco smuggling; Marijuana has long been moved through Akwesasne.
In fact when this newspaper covered allegations of Fentanyl laced cannabis they were based in Akwesasne. Frightening enough, the EOHU ran to another media squealing that there wasn’t any. All the local law enforcement agencies were mentioned in that story with the sole exception of AMPS, the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service.
The allegations was that some weed, meant for other communities, landed locally.
Like many of these cases, all info is muzzled and traded closely.
Right now we have governments passing the hot potato with none willing to step up to the plate.
While the Feds to have an area of control; it’s up to the provinces to administer the sales and rules with municipalities deciding if and where retail establishments are to exist…or not.
Akwesasne straddles the US, Quebec, and Ontario areas, but the MCA is mostly in Ontario. The area where illegal dispensaries have popped up is in Ontario. The only entity that can legally issue any licenses is the government of Ontario.
But does that government have the testicular fortitude to sift through and sort out this issue? That the MCA appears to be ready to issue licenses simply doesn’t wash unless they’ve made some sort of agreement with Queens Park, which so far no proof of exists.
Likewise, you have the CBSA in the middle. Technically if I drive from Cornwall to Akwesasne I have not left Canada or even Ontario. They don’t have jurisdiction over me or my vehicle; nor are CBSA law enforcement; but essentially tax collectors with guns.
And of course, while residents of Akwesasne are happy to enjoy the benefits of OHIP will they submit taxes for marijuana sales to the province to help cover costs like any licensed dispensary in the province would?
There are more questions than answers, but one answer is clear and that is no legal dispensary should be open until the ground rules are in play and actually enforceable, and by whom.
While the people of Akwesasne have a myriad of their own political issues; they should not be selling Marijuana, especially to non residents of Akwesasne in contravention of the laws of the land.
Ontario needs to ensure that the laws are enforced across the province equally.