Pot activist Dana Larsen mulls run for B.C. NDP leadership

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      Vancouver pot activist Dana Larsen has rejected the idea he would be a one-issue candidate in the provincial New Democrat leadership contest.

      “I’ve got a lot of other things I’d like to talk about,” said the one-time leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party and outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization.

      He said, for example, he would like to see B.C.’s minimum wage increased to $10 and tied to inflation, the training wage eliminated, the HST reversed, and a provincial police force established to replace the RCMP.

      But Larsen acknowledged government pot-policy is a priority, saying it is linked closely to issues like crime, human rights, and the economy.

      He described the B.C. bud industry as a massive “underground” sector of the economy that should be subject to taxes and regulation.

      “It’s a massive employer,” he told the Straight today (December 21) by phone. “It provides a lot of revenue to individuals, but nothing to the government.”

      Larsen recently announced he is considering a bid for the provincial party leadership and says he will announce his decision by the end of this month.

      Since B.C. NDP Leader Carole James announced last month she will be resigning, potential leadership candidates have been emerging.

      A one-member, one-vote provincial leadership election is set for April 17, 2011.

      Larsen, who says he has been an NDP member since 2003, also talked about the direction the party should head in with James departing as leader.

      “I think we’ve got to look to our grassroots and our membership of the party,” he said.

      “I think when we’re developing policy we have to make sure we base that on the resolutions that have been passed and what the membership of the party wants.”

      He said NDP party conventions are not focused enough on debate and discussion about policy by party members. Also, he said the internet could be used more to encourage ongoing internal party dialogue as policy is developed.

      In 2008, Larsen resigned as the federal NDP candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country amid controversy about video footage showing him taking hallucinogenic drugs.

      He said he stepped aside to avoid creating a distraction to NDP campaign efforts.



      Denis Fafard

      Dec 21, 2010 at 11:03pm

      As a long time supporter of the NDP and a resident of the Sunshine Coast I have one thing to say to Dana: shame. Shame on you for deceiving our riding association and shame on you for letting your egotism over-ride social justice.

      David Malmo-Levine

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:50am

      I don't know what this Denis Fafard dude is talking about. Dana never deceived anyone - when he was asked to step down he did so - the opposite of "egotism".

      Perhaps Fafard is irritated at the fact that Dana has led a life full of experience and experiment - that's just jealousy talking, I guess.

      "Social justice" should include at least some focus on the biggest and longest running war on earth - the drug war. Who is Fafard to talk? What has he done to end this war? Shame on him for his sanctimonious, ignorant attitude.

      Michael J

      Dec 22, 2010 at 9:58am

      Wow Denis, that's quite an accusation without any context. Can you elaborate a bit more and try not to sound like you have a personal grudge against Mr. Larsen?


      Dec 22, 2010 at 11:49am

      how paradox...fight for freeom and free weed together with fight against freedom in minimal wage inrease...hmmim sad, very sad... "He said, for example, he would like to see B.C.’s minimum wage increased to $10"

      >> http://www.house.gov/jec/cost-gov/regs/minimum/50years.htm

      i disagree with this halffight for freedom... :(( minimal wedge is social evil !!!!!!!!!!!

      unknown sample

      Dec 22, 2010 at 12:25pm

      Right wing types would rejoice with a Hemp Messiah at the helm of the NDP.

      What is this guy smoking? Oh, wait...


      Dec 22, 2010 at 12:29pm

      I see the poll with now 124 yes and 37 no votes
      Yes leads
      No doubt
      All of what Mr larsen says is true

      We can choose to keep our heads in the sand and maybe just maybe the problem will just go away......LOL

      The cops will catch them all if we just all dig deeper and double the police budget again...eh ?

      No Dana is right and although he wont win I commend him for speaking out...who better? as I who was on all their executives already quit and went green
      Yes after being told point blank the NDP were really just too cowardly and too afraid to ever really do as they had PROMISED ME
      I had to run for President of the federal party in Quebec City in 2006 just to say the word "Cannabis"
      And to those of you who think it is a federal issue..again ....ignorance blinds you
      BC entered confederation with unique powers and could re-legalize cannabis tomorrow...

      Dana sadly... is soon going to show you all why it never has done so...
      No BC politicians has any BALLS...PERIOD !!

      Watch the TV news from the Surrey BC anti crime meeting last year
      Thats me in the back ground yelling that they are all cowards and hypocrites and ridiculously ignoring the elephant in all our living rooms

      BC citizens like CANNABIS
      According to the United Nations BC holds the highest (no pun) concentration of cannabis using VOTERS in the world !!

      Mean while the last one caught by the huge police machine has spawned a new crop to fight with guns in vancouver streets to see who will be next in charge....and no one gets it !

      It is madness and insane

      I have spent twenty years on this issue and even had a parting of the ways within the NDP and with even Mr Larsen because of the cowardly ignorant views and games from some controlling the NDP and not from their members

      But I say this....thank you Dana Larsen for having the guts to put this on the political table...one vote one member..

      I hope those still in the NDP make it an issue and they may just find they win the next election because of it!!

      But I am also making an effort to see that it does not happen as well ..with Mr Chris Delaney and the BC First Party
      It just may be that having a sane and rational approach to BC and the BC Cannabis business is not enough to beat those with that and much much more ....
      Stay tuned BC but we can change things if we actually try



      Dec 22, 2010 at 10:07pm

      It appears Larsen has a smokin group of followers, who no doubt are dreamin in technocolour!


      Dec 23, 2010 at 1:36am

      As long as Harper is PM he will never legalize pot. It will make his bosses in the US very unhappy.

      high intelligence :-)

      Dec 26, 2010 at 1:13am

      Marijuana laws are a federal jurisdiction, not provincial. Debating this topic during the BC NDP leadership campaign will only detract from other serious issues that need to be addressed, like the ALR, minimum wage, a jobs strategy, corporate taxation rates and the protection of our wild rivers.

      But Dana Larson does have something in common with Tommy Douglas.
      They both support the use of LSD.
      Check it out in Psychedelic Psychiatry: From Clinic to Campus by Erika Dyck, published by John Hopkins University Press!


      Dec 29, 2010 at 1:31pm

      Well actually and I know some one like you may be surprised to learn...but you are wrong

      The way BC entered in to "Confederation" is unique and we could re-legalize and regulate Cannabis tomorrow

      So put that in to your pipe and smoke it

      Besides...the federal political scene is fool of cowards and hypocrites and cant even tie their own shoe laces without approval so nothing will change there

      Dont forget that before I got the Green Party to say they would re-legalize cannabis I had to run for President of the federal NDP in Quebec City in 2006 just to say the word "cannabis"

      jack layton had some meet us and explain that they in factr were cowards and the police and penitentiary forces very powerful in the NDP

      They make good money exploiting the weak and the lame

      Good family growing good jobs....so what about te weak and the lame when they pay good union jobs out of it

      I think it was kinda that way ...but have more for any who doubt it

      Sorry its only collective stupidity and discrimination standing in any BC provincial governments way to actually introduce actual SANE DRUG POLICY

      Nothing more....