First Nation Chief Accused Of Carrying Cannabis At Airport

We previously wrote on the story of Canadian veteran who had difficulty bringing his medical cannabis through the airport, airline companies as well as the security agents still take the issue of traveling with cannabis very seriously in spite of the federal promise of legalization.

Arlen Dumas is chief of the Mathias Colomb First Nation, and he is filing a complaint after an incident at the Winnipeg airport. A security agent at the airport accused the chief of carrying cannabis in his sacred medicine pouch.

He was traveling with his 16-year-old son who suffers from cystic fibrosis and recently had a lung transplant. They were both selected to go through a body scan, when the agent who was conducting the scan asked what was in the pouch the chief was wearing around his neck. Dumas explained that he had tobacco which is used for cultural purposes.

Dumas says that “He started by being very aggressive and he said, ‘It looks like marijuana.’ He was very disrespectful and rude.” Dumas’ companion attempted to explain the importance of the bag and that fact that he is a chief, which prompted the question by the guard, “What’s a chief?”

“I don’t know what this man’s beliefs are but whatever they are, his job is to be professional. Security is supposed to be there for our protection, not to insult people,” commented Dumas.

A similar complaint was filed by Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak three weeks ago at the Ottawa McDonald-Cartier Airport.