Tsuut’ina Nation hosts cannabis info session

Pot is legal in Canada, so now what?

That is the question many Canadians have two weeks after marijuana was legalized and it’s a question that was posed at the first pot information session held on the Tsuut’ina Nation since weed was legalized Oct. 17. 

Tsuut’ina Nation Police, Calgary police and Alberta Health Services partnered to host the event this week. The session focused on the basics of cannabis, from buying it to consuming it. 

Tips on how to use marijuana safely as well as the rules surrounding pot on and off the reserve were also outlined at the event. 

Nick Moore of YouthLink was one of the presenters at the meeting. Moore says its important to talk about cannabis with Canadians because many use pot.

“Canadian youth are the leading consumers of cannabis in the developed world,” Moore said.

Nick Moore of YouthLink hopes to share cannabis awareness with other First Nation communities. (Livia Manywounds/CBC News)

Moore spent almost three hours speaking to more than 20 nation members about the basics of marijuana, the different ways it is used. He also discussed the different strains that can be bought and consumed. 

Moore says that despite pot being legal, many people still have questions.

“There are marginalized populations with an increased risk,” Moore said. “The FN, LGBTQ and particularly the young male demographic use cannabis more.”

Tsuut’ina police Chief Keith Blake also spoke at the event. He says a recent vote to allow the manufacturing and sale of cannabis on the nation makes understanding pot even more important. 

“The community had decided through that vote that they would allow for that to take place, so we have to be prepared for all of those things.”

Keith Blake, Tsuut’ina Nation Police Chief, speaks about marijuana and future development on the reserve. (Livia Manywounds/CBC News) 

The Tsuut’ina Nation Police are responsible for enforcing federal, provincial and nation laws on the reserve. It’s a job that Blake says will become more complex as development ramps up on the nation.

The First Nation is working on a multibillion-dollar development along the edge of the ring road called Taza. It will include retail centres as well as entertainment and hospitality complexes.

Blake says there are “a lot of questions” in the community about what pot legalization means for the nation’s members. 

Christian Manywounds is one of those with questions about weed. Manywounds came to the event wondering where she would be allowed to smoke marijuana on nation land.

Christian Manywounds sits in on the information session with other curious community members. (Livia Manywounds/CBC News)

“If nation members were to have a better understanding of where they can smoke and feel more safe without hesitation and legal about it,” said Manywounds.

For its part, chief and council have decided to ban smoking pot on nation lands, except in homes.

Band members can apply for an exemption to hold events that allow pot smoking in public places.

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