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NB:Tobique pot shop raided by RCMP

by papapuff » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:27 pm

Tobique pot shop raided by RCMP

Officers execute search warrant at Tribal ReLeaf after issuing a warning last month

CBC News Posted: Oct 05, 2017

RCMP raided a marijuana dispensary on Tobique First Nation on Thursday afternoon and seized an undisclosed quantity of marijuana.

"At this point, no charges have been laid and the investigation is continuing," said spokesperson Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.

She could not provide the name of the business, but CBC News has learned it's Tribal ReLeaf on Route 105.

The business describes itself as a pain management centre on its Facebook page.

Officers executed the search warrant after issuing a warning to the northwestern New Brunswick business in September, said Rogers-Marsh.

"We visited this dispensary last month to explain the potential ramifications related to business practices which do not comply with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and they continued to operate," she said.

Rogers-Marsh could not say how many staff or customers were onsite during the raid and declined to say if anyone was arrested.

RCMP are trying to determine who the supplier is, she said.

"It is illegal and unregulated, so people who may have purchased from this location need to be aware that it's unknown as to where they were getting the marijuana from."

The federal government is expected to legalize recreational marijuana use by July 2018.
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by papapuff » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:00 am

Yahoo News Canada

Tobique marijuana dispensary raid came close to 'full-out conflict,' chief says

CBC CBCOctober 6, 2017

The chief of Tobique First Nation says the RCMP raid on the community's new marijuana dispensary Thursday prompted a blockade that could have turned into a "full-out conflict."

Ross Perley says Tribal ReLeaf, which opened in July, is 51 per cent-owned by the band and has the full support of band council as a "pain management centre."

"We're sick and tired of doctors and pharmacists shoving opioids down the throats of our people, paid for by Health Canada," he said. "So this is a way … for people to get the medicine they need to try and live happy, peaceful lives."

Perley said the marijuana can help people in the community with medical conditions such as cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as those trying to kick addictions to opioids and other narcotics.

And the band's share of the revenue can go back into the community — everything from programs for youth and assistance for the elderly to helping the unemployed find jobs and infrastructure projects.

It's only been a couple of months, but Perley said the initiative has been "good for the community" and that's why there was such a strong show of support during the raid.

About 100 members and several vehicles blocked officers from leaving "for a number of hours," he said. It was peaceful and no weapons were involved, but the situation was "delicate."

The search and seizure by police was viewed as a "disrespectful" "attack" on the band's sovereignty, said Perley.

"Luckily, me and my council were able to negotiate their safe release," he said. "Basically, we avoided a full-out conflict and crisis in our community."

Perley declined to disclose any details about the negotiations but did say charges against three arrested employees were dropped.

"We strongly believe in self-government and self-determination," he said. "We regulate and license our own gaming, our own alcohol, our own tobacco and our own marijuana, and we do it efficiently."

RCMP contend the dispensary, located on Route 105 in northwestern New Brunswick, is illegal and unregulated and failed to comply with a "cease and desist" order last month.

​No charges have been laid and the investigation is continuing, spokesperson Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said on Friday.

Police are trying to determine who is supplying the shop, she said.

Perley declined to disclose the identity of the supplier or the names of the other part-owners.

"All I'll say is we have the educational capacity and the sophistication to do proper quality control and regulation," he said.

More serious problems

Perley questions why the RCMP would focus on the marijuana dispensary when the community is struggling with narcotics, such as opioids, fentanyl and cocaine — particularly when the federal government is expected to legalize recreational marijuana use by July 2018.

"People are sick, they're dying on these [other] drugs," said Perley, who has been the chief for three years.

"For us, that's what the RCMP should be focusing on. We've been asking them to do something about it, they've done absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing.

"When you have the support of the leadership and you have the support of the community to raid other real drug dealers, and you're not doing it, and you're wasting your time and your resources on something that's supported by leadership and by the community, I mean, it just doesn't make any sense at all."

Rogers-Marsh said the RCMP have to enforce the laws as they exist today, including the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, under which marijuana is still considered illegal.

She said she couldn't speak about other "enforcement efforts ongoing."

"There are different investigations at different stages," she said.
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by papapuff » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:50 pm


RCMP, Tobique in showdown over medicinal marijuana

National News | October 12, 2017 by Tom Fennario

Tom Fennario
APTN National News

Maliseet in New Brunswick and the RCMP are at odds over whether the community of Tobique has the lawful ability to sell medicinal marijuana.

The issue came to a head on Oct. 5 when officers raided the offices of Tribal ReLeaf, a medicinal cannabis dispensary on Tobique First Nation.

“This is a constitutional infringement on a First Nation, plain and simple,” said Gerald Bear, director of Tribal ReLeaf.

The RCMP took an undisclosed amount of marijuana as well as two computers.

Several Releaf employees were served notices to appear in court, which were later rescinded after Tobique Chief Ron Perley arrived on scene and spoke on the phone to RCMP higher-ups.

“What I know is that 40-50 people gathered in the area while police were on scene, the investigation at this time is still ongoing, and there’s been no charges laid,” said Corporal Jullie Rogers-Marsh of the New Brunswick RCMP.

Gerald Bear, 61, has operated tribal ReLeaf since it opened in July.

The Tobique First Nation owns 51 per cent of the company and in 2012 was licensed to operate by chief and council.

Bear said every effort has been made to let Canada and New Brunswick know that Tobique, about 170 km northwest of Fredericton, is getting into the medical Marijuana business.

“We met with the province, we met with the RCMP, and told them our intentions,” Bear told APTN News. “Our indigenous government here basically has an inherent right to self-govern under the constitution.”

The RCMP said that a previously sent cease and desist order was ignored and that this is the first they’ve heard of any resolution being passed by the band regarding marijuana.

“I’m not aware if there’s anything in place, we have an obligation to enforce the laws as they exist today, and we would enforce the laws of Canada,” said Rogers-Marsh.

Furthermore, the RCMP said that the marijuana being sold at Tribal ReLeaf is unregulated and are trying to determine where it comes from.

“People who purchase it need to be aware that it’s unknown, that what they’re buying could come from anywhere,” Rogers-Marsh said.

Bear refused to reveal who the cannabis suppliers are.

He said that they are growers who have permits from Health Canada.

He thinks there’s an unfair double standard in Canada for First Nations when it comes to legislating and selling medical marijuana.

“Vancouver made a city bylaw and there’s 80 dispensaries operating in Vancouver today,” he said. “What’s happening with that? There’s other dispensaries in other non-Indian communities that are operating in the Maritimes, what’s up with that?”

The RCMP said they have sent a cease and desist letter to another dispensary under their jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, the mounties met with the Tobique band council to talk about the October 5 raid.

Neither party wanted to discuss the outcome of the meeting.

The cannabis dispensary is still open and they have no intention of turning over a new leaf.

Bear said the onus should be on Canada and New Brunswick to adapt to their laws.

“There’s bilateral agreements that talk about respecting first nation governments, let’s see it happen,” he said.
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