The National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association (NIMCA) was officially launched last month in the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The goal of this organization is to promote and defend the Indigenous relationship to the cannabis plant through education and advocacy. Currently based in Ontario, the organization plans to open chapters across the country so they can be as specific to each community as possible. Here is some more information about this powerful new group and what new policy around cannabis could mean for Indigenous communities.
Healing Properties of Cannabis for Today’s Problems
Canada’s current opioid epidemic has been particularly damaging to First Nations communities across the country. One of NIMCA’s current main objectives is to promote and advocate the use of medical marijuana is combatting opioid addiction. NIMCA’s members argue that the use of cannabis to alleviate the suffering of opioid addiction could have a positive impact not just for Native communities, but for anyone suffering from addiction across Canada.
Combining Cannabis with Traditional Indigenous Healing
Another strategy advocated for by NIMCA is to integrate medical cannabis use with traditional Indigenous healing methods for a holistic approach to healthcare provision. Indigenous healing is a broad term use to describe a wide range of practices that vary amongst different Native cultures. Medical marijuana, traditional Indigenous healing practices, and Western styles of healthcare can be used in conjunction with one another to provide Native communities across the country with well-rounded healthcare services.
Now that the cultural conversation is shifting in favour of using cannabis as a medical and therapeutic tool, it’s important that Indigenous communities across Canada are given a voice in these conversations. Groups like the National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association ensure that the needs and rights of Indigenous communities are recognized when discussing medical marijuana.
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