Balancing community health and safety needs with economic growth and consumer demand will require leadership and vision
Since the government of Canada legalized non-medical cannabis in 2018, community leaders have been interested in learning more about the complex topic of legalization to understand how it may affect First Nations communities.
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has developed a guidebook entitled Navigating Non-Medical Cannabis in BC – A First Nations Community Guidebook to Cannabis Legalization. The goal of the guidebook is to support community decision-making about cannabis by providing information using a health and wellness perspective and an Indigenous lens.
“This guide supports Chiefs and community leaders in navigating the complexities of cannabis legalization and determining what is appropriate and beneficial for their First Nations communities," says Dr. Nel Wieman, FNHA's Deputy Chief Medical Officer. “Indigenous leaders will find this guidebook very useful."
The cannabis guidebook introduces central themes and questions related to the legalization of non-medical cannabis and the potential impacts on First Nations communities. Community leaders have a unique opportunity to help shape policies and guidelines that will have a positive impact on their communities into the future.
The guidebook raises relevant themes to ensure community leaders are aware of the issues they may want to consider. This guide does not make policy recommendations or instruct communities on how to approach legalization. Respecting self-determination is fundamental to the FNHA's approach.
You can download the guidebook here.
Learn about Indigenous strengths and cannabis here.