CANNABIS CULTURE – Dana Larsen, well-known marijuana activist, politician, and former editor of Cannabis Culture, is considering a run for the leadership of the BC New Democratic Party. Sign up to become a member before mid-January and take part in the leadership vote!
Larsen is a former federal NDP candidate and a popular figure in BC’s pot community, with an array of cannabis credentials as the former leader of the BC Marijuana Party, founder of the Vancouver Seed Bank, and founding director of the Vancouver Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary.
In order to support his possible campaign for leadership and be eligible to vote at the NDP’s leadership convention on April 17, potential members must join the party three months before the vote in mid-January.
“If you are not signed up by mid-January, you are not eligible to vote for me or whoever you choose to vote for,” Larsen told Cannabis Culture. “You must be a member for 90 days.”
CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for membership in the BC NDP (if that link isn’t working, click here instead) or send in this membership form. Membership fees are a minimum $10 for the year (or $1 for the ‘underemployed’).
Though he has not officially announced his candidacy, Larsen has been meeting with MLAs and other party members to determine if his support base is strong enough for a leadership run.
“I want to make sure I have enough support and have a good team in place,” he said. “And I’ve been finding a lot of support. I was on CKNW talking about it and every single person that called in was supportive. I did an interview with the Georgia Straight yesterday, and a poll there shows over 75% in support of the BC NDP making marijuana legalization part of its next election platform.”
The activist says marijuana law reform is a “key issue”, especially in British Columbia.
“Cannabis is one of our biggest industries, its a huge employer, and an integral part of British Columbia in so many ways,” he said, “yet it is entirely underground, unregulated, untaxed, uncontrolled, and forced into the hands of the underground criminal market. We need to bring this industry above ground. We can do a lot to work [toward the legalization and regulation of marijuana]in the provincial government of British Columbia without federal government being able to stop us or get involved. It will help our economy, help empty our prisons of non-violent people, allow our police to focus on real crime, and reduce gang violence by taking away their huge underground market.”
Larsen has been a member of the NDP for seven years and ran as a federal NDP candidate in 2008. During the campaign, Larsen was pressured to resign after videos showing him smoking pot and taking LSD were broadcast in the mainstream media.
Though the cannabis issue may be his specialty, Larsen is at heart a fighter for social justice and civil rights, and is well-versed in a range of political issues.
“I’ve worked on marijuana policy reform for most of my life, but I also care about a wide variety of issues,” he told CC. “One of the reasons I think cannabis is important is because it ties into many other issues – like the environment, health care, policing, civil rights, and even racial equality. As part of the BC NDP, I will be calling for a 10-dollar minimum wage to be indexed to inflation and the removal of the ‘training wage’. I think we need to get the RCMP out of BC and create a provincial police force that has strong civilian oversight. And I also think we need to stop the Liberal’s corporate sell-out of our province and preserve the institutions that are an important part of our society and our government.”
Click here to visit Dana Larsen’s Facebook Page.
Click here to visit EndProhibition.ca.