On 4/20, Akwesasne demands legal pot sales sooner rather than later

Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 6:04 PM EDT
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AKWESASNE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Toking in the open. Munching on edibles. Checking out the buds. Ready to grow it at home. They’re a preview of things to come on the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation Territory and in New York state.

“It’s kind of exciting and a little scary to be honest,” said Lexi Cree, Lit Lyfe Edibles owner.

On Tuesday, a mix of protest and open-air market was held in a parking lot off Route 37. People there want to see the legalization of recreational marijuana sales sooner rather than later.

“It’s going to be an economic boom here. We have to use this as a tool for that,” said Roger Jock, Traditional Longhouse member.

They say it’s just a preview of what will take place at full-service pot shops. The Mohawk St. Regis Tribal Council is now drawing up regulations. Some people may not wait.

“It isn’t like we just got ready. We’ve been ready. We’ve been ready,” said Jock.

“It’s nice to be here and be free,” said Cree.

The shops may open there soon as the paint is dry. The tribal government says drawing up new regulations will take 60 to 90 days. Then people can apply for licenses.

In some ways, there’s nowhere this is more complicated than Akwesasne. That’s because you have Canadian, U.S., tribal and state jurisdictions all side by side.

It’s already fully legal on the Canadian side of Akwesasne. Marijuana use has been legal in New York since the end of March.

Its sale in New York will not be legal until regulations are finalized, probably sometime next year.

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