Marijuana debate leaves First Nations weighing pros and cons

Is it a cash crop to lift struggling First Nations out of poverty, or a vice posing a particular risk for a vulnerable population?

As Canada forges ahead with the legalization of marijuana, slated for July 2018, Indigenous people are split about what to do on their territory.

A number of First Nations have signed investment deals with marijuana producers, lured by the promise of profits and other benefits. Others have slammed on the brakes until they can draw up their own rules for growing and selling what is, for a few more months, an illegal drug.

“What the communities are obviously going to be looking at is how far we go with this. Do we accept it fully? Do we accept it in part? Or do we just say ‘Absolutely not’?” said Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Isadore Day, who represents Ontario.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, south...

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