Kanehsatake’s lush fields of dope are no more. After several days of controversy about the marijuana last month, Mohawk police and the Sûreté du Québec moved in on the weed and plowed it under.
The plants were apparently being grown by Kanehsatake residents for sale to the Hell’s Angels in St-Hyacinthe.
Police haven’t laid any charges.
Some 25,000 plants were destroyed in half a dozen large fields just weeks before they were mature enough for smoking purposes. The plants were on land owned by Indian Affairs.
Traditional Mohawks say Grand Chief Jerry Peltier and police were aware of the dope cultivation for months, but did nothing. One TV news crew filmed what was said to be a field full of marijuana plants within eyesight of Peltier’s house. Some of the dope-growers reportedly admitted to other Mohawks that they had paid off the police to keep quiet.
Walter David Jr., a Longhouse member in Kanehsatake, said the federal government probably knew about the dope since it operates an addiction treatment centre in Kanehsatake. Workers there must have heard about the dope-growing from young people passing through the centre, he said.
Two months ago, David hand-delivered a written complaint about the problem to the council. Nothing was done until the media got a hold of the news in July.
Peltier did not respond to The Nation’s request for comment.
David said his biggest concern was for the youth who were reportedly paid $100 a night to help guard the fields.
Some have dropped out of school and others were pressured to sell drugs at school, he said.
“A lot of people say grass is harmless but what really did it was the use of our youth,” he said. “A lot of people are really concerned about the youth working these fields. Where it touches our youth it crosses a very important line. That’s a generation we cannot waste.”