VANCOUVER, Sept. 4, 2019 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde and AFN British Columbia Regional Chief Terry Teegee addressed delegates today at the AFN's first ever National Cannabis Summit in Vancouver, B.C. The Summit is one of the most comprehensive examinations of the implications and issues surrounding First Nations and legal cannabis.
"This Summit is about First Nations directly addressing the many issues related to legal cannabis that were not addressed by the federal government in implementing this new regime," said AFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee, who oversees this portfolio for AFN. "We'll be examining critical issues related to revenue sharing, trade, health and social impacts and more. The purpose of this Summit is to provide the best and most current information on all aspects of legal cannabis so First Nations can make informed decisions. The government excluded us from this important dialogue and we are filling the space and finding ways forward that will respect First Nations rights and jurisdiction."
Hundreds of First Nations leaders and citizens, along with experts in health, economics, the law, and social development are gathered in Vancouver over the next two days for the National Cannabis Summit. Cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018 when the Cannabis Act and related legislation came into force. The federal government did not fully engage or consult with First Nations on how its proposed legislation would ensure respect and implementation of First Nations rights, title and jurisdiction.
"The AFN National Cannabis Summit is one of the most comprehensive examinations of First Nations and cannabis to date," said National Chief Bellegarde. "It is an opportunity for First Nations to discuss, dialogue and share their views. First Nations have diverse views on legal cannabis but we all agree that governments must recognize and respect our jurisdiction. The AFN will advocate and support First Nations who want to assert and exercise their jurisdiction in this area, and fully support those First Nations who do not want to participate."
The AFN National Cannabis Summit is being held September 4-5, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia on the territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
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