Kahnawake Mohawks declare moratorium on pot sales, production and distribution

Mohawks in Kahnawake are indicating they won't necessarily follow in Ottawa's footsteps when it comes to legalizing pot next year.

On Monday, members of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake voted unanimously in favor of a moratorium on pot sales, production and distribution, until the community can come up with its own rules.

Mohawk Council spokesperson Joe Delaronde says there needs to be a proper sounding-out period in Kahnawake before any decisions are made on marijuana.

"We don't want people jumping the gun and us not being prepared," Delaronde says, "so we felt the best thing to do right now is...no, nothing's going to happen until we gather all the information, and have the community input on all this."

Kahnawake has a long-standing zero-tolerance policy on illegal drugs, and Delaronde suggests a large segment of the community may be looking to keep it that way.

"Even though marijuana looks like it's going to become legal, there may still be a significant portion of the community here that says...just because it's legal out there, doesn't mean it has to happen here," Delaronde says.

The Trudeau government tabled its marijuana law this past spring, which is aimed at legalizing pot by July 1, 2018.

Neither the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake nor the one in Akwesasne are ruling out the possibility of banning the drug entirely, if that's what the people want.