Green party siren Jodie Emery targets Wally Oppal the prohibitionist

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      She’s an editor of Cannabis Culture magazine, she’s 24 years old, she supported U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul, and she’s married to pot crusader Marc Emery.

      She’s Jodie Emery, and the Georgia Straight has learned that she will run for the B.C. Green party against B.C. attorney general Wally Oppal in Vancouver-Fraserview in May.

      “There is a lot that needs to be said that he needs to hear,” Emery told the Straight by phone. “He used to be a bit more progressive, but he’s since turned to become more prohibitionist and [is] supporting the policing, even though he and everyone can see that hasn’t worked thus far. I think I will have a good time discussing some of these issues—gang violence and prohibition and organized crime—with Wally Oppal. I am quite excited about it.”

      B.C. Green party deputy leader Damian Kettlewell, who confirmed he is running in his newly created home riding of Vancouver–False Creek, said Emery “has got the full package”.

      “In these revenue-challenged times, our province is losing up to $2 billion in tax revenues annually by criminalizing cannabis,” Kettlewell told the Straight in a phone interview. “Jodie is going to be running against Wally. She is quite articulate and she is a thoughtful person. She is very passionate about cost overruns and homelessness. She’s got the full package and we’re excited to be partnering with her.”

      Kettlewell was quick to point out that the B.C. Marijuana Party will field its own candidates, so the partnership with Emery is “unofficial”.

      For her part, Emery said her platform will focus on one simple message: ending prohibition.

      “Nobody is making big money or shooting each other over coffee or alcohol or cigarettes,” she said in relation to the recent spate of gang-related shootings. “It’s just that the illegality sends that whole market into the underground, where there is no legitimate recourse for disputes. Prohibition hasn’t worked at all, and if gang members don’t fear prison, they don’t fear getting shot down in the streets either. So stricter enforcement is not going to deter them. It will only raise the stakes and make them more violent in their efforts to control their territory and their marketing.”

      B.C. Green party leader Jane Sterk ran against Emery (then with the B.C. Marijuana Party) in the October 29 provincial by-election in Vancouver-Fairview. Sterk, based in Esquimalt, ultimately approved Emery’s candidacy this time.

      “She must have been impressed by what I had to say,” Emery said. “They asked me if I would be all right with them nominating me, and I thought that would be great, because the environment is another passion of mine, along with sustainability. I am very much in line with them on that.”

      For his part, Kettlewell will face off against B.C. Liberal candidate, and former federal Conservative nominee, Mary McNeil. In 2005, Kettlewell garnered more than 15 percent of the popular vote in Vancouver–Point Grey running against Premier Gordon Campbell and NDP challenger Mel Lehan, who are both running again in May.

      “My chances are improved running in Vancouver–False Creek, and that’s why I decided to run there,” Kettlewell said. “Mary McNeil has been around a lot longer, but she has lost the only political campaign she’s ever been involved with. She lost to Deborah Meredith [for the Conservative Vancouver Quadra by-election nomination], so she’s a real Conservative. She is a federal Conservative, and the federal Conservatives aren’t really popular in the city centre, so I’ll be putting it out that she’s extremely right-wing. The NDP have not found a person yet.”¦We’re running an aggressive campaign and we’re ready to make history and elect some Green MLAs under the first-past-the-post system.”

      Kettlewell said his major policy focuses are making the city centre and Vancouver–False Creek areas the “greenest in North America” and pushing for the adoption of the single transferable vote (STV) voting system. Voters can vote for the latter at the ballot box this May.

      Other declared Vancouver-based B.C. Green candidates are Vanessa Violini (Vancouver-Fairview), Jamie-Lee Hamilton (Vancouver–Mount Pleasant), Ryan Conroy (Vancouver-Hastings), Drina Read (Vancouver–West End), Rev Warkentin (Vancouver-Kingsway), Doug Warkentin (Vancouver-Kensington), and Laura-Leah Shaw (Vancouver-Quilchena).




      Feb 20, 2009 at 4:21am

      I heard Ray Lam has been asked to run in False Creek for the NDP...

      Seems odd that Damian would rag on Mary McNeil for never winning a political campaign. He's never won a political campaign either. He's never even come close, nor has his party.

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      Reader via e-mail

      Feb 20, 2009 at 11:28am

      B.C. Greens offer the full package

      The Green Party of B.C. announced eight additional election candidates last week. Our Vancouver candidates include engineers, transit operators, business people, arts specialists and community activists.

      While we appreciate you announcing our Vancouver candidates, we take exception to your primary focus on cannabis prohibtion. The Green Party of B.C. introduced the concept of the carbon tax in 1996, introduced the concept of tax shifting to B.C. politics, and we continue to offer cutting-edge policy solutions that the Liberals and NDP often choose to adopt themselves.

      In these times of economic uncertainty, we realize that B.C. voters will support the most economically-savvy candidates. Those with the best economic plans that preserve and create jobs will be elected. The B.C. Greens will present a better economic plan for B.C. that will create more green-collar jobs in renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and locally-focused markets. Ending homelessness, realigning our health care system to focus on prevention, and increasing the efficiency of education spending are other policy areas that the B.C. Greens specialize in.

      The Green Party will field a full slate of B.C. candidates for the third election in a row, and we are poised for electoral success. At the request of our membership base, we are a strong advocate for electoral reform and BC-STV, as the Citizens' Assembly has indicated that it is fairer than the current system and offers more local representation.

      While the B.C. Greens do indeed support drug reform and the end of prohibition of certain substances in order to reduce gang activity and create new tax revenues for our province, we are by no means alone in favouring such a policy stance, and this issue hardly defines the B.C. Greens, as your recent article suggests. The 2009 Green Book, to be released shortly, will provide details about the wide range of innovative policies that the Green Party will offer to British Columbian voters.

      Damian Ketttlewell
      MLA Candidate Vancouver False Creek
      BC Greens ~ Deputy Leader, mba

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      Feb 20, 2009 at 11:38am

      I used to respect Oppal but his decision to join a morally bankrupt bunch like the Socred/Libs has pretty much ruined whatever legacy he had on the bench as a just jurist. His latest brush with infamy has him under pressure to "do something" about gang violence. This morning he told Rick Cluff (CBC) that police needed the public's help. When asked what that meant Oppal said he was hoping relatives and girlfriends would give police evidence that could be used to arrest and convict the gangsters. When Cluff questioned whether that wouldn't be risking innocent people's lives Oppal responded weakly that those people could be well paid and protected. So this is all their "braintrust" can come up with and they want 900 million to protect a two week sporting event?
      90 million sounds like too much. One could be forgiven for concluding that Oppal and his gang have been tasering each others tiny little intellects until nothing but recycled, third rate US cop show cliches emerge .


      Feb 20, 2009 at 2:23pm

      Mrs. Emery is gorgeous, but I can't abide her libertarian politics. Mmmm....Maybe the NDP should apply its affirmative action policy on nominations to recruit one or two hothouse honeys!


      Mar 11, 2009 at 1:04am

      WTF! Politics is sure weird. I agree with Emery's stance on legalization but she supported a Republican. That doesn't jive with my reading of Green policy on the website.

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      Miranda Nelson

      Mar 12, 2009 at 12:31pm


      I've just got to point out that while Ron Paul may be part of the Republican party, his views are much more libertarian in nature. He objected to the Iraq War, he's voted to end the trade embargo on Cuba, and believes in small government that isn't invasive in the lives of its citizens. There's even an entire <a href="">Wikipedia page</a> detailing his views, many of which are not in line with the official Republican Party rhetoric or many people identifying as Republican.