CANNABIS CULTURE – Sensible BC will host a press conference 30 minutes before American anti-pot campaigner’s talk in Vancouver on May 16.
Patrick Kennedy of SAM [Smart Approaches to Marijuana] is coming to Vancouver Friday, May 16. He is giving a talk to media and local supporters at the Blacktail Florist Restaurant at 332 Water St, starting at Noon.
Dana Larsen of Sensible BC will be holding a press conference outside the restaurant from 11:15 to 11:45am, immediately before Patrick Kennedy’s presentation. All media are invited to attend.
No opposing views allowed
Although Kennedy’s event was promoted as an open discussion, attendance has been tightly controlled. People who support legalization were blocked from buying tickets.
“I tried to book tickets by email,” said Dana Larsen, director of the Sensible BC campaign to repeal cannabis prohibition. “At first they said they could sell me two tickets, but when I told them my name, suddenly the event was full.”
“I called to buy a ticket and the organizer Pamela McColl asked me if I thought pot should be legalized,” said Chris Bennet, a Vancouver cannabis activist. “When I said yes, she refused to sell me a ticket. When I tried to ask a question she said ‘screw you’ and hung up.”
Kennedy’s crusade misguided
“Patrick Kennedy is funding his anti-marijuana crusade with money from his family’s liquor fortune,” said Larsen. “His efforts are misguided and will only continue to spread the harm and misery caused by cannabis prohibition.”
SAM promotes themselves as a third way between “incarceration versus legalization,” but their proposals merely continue the failed policy of prohibition. First, Kennedy advocates continued punishment and prison for anyone growing or selling cannabis. Second, he wants mandatory, forced treatment for all marijuana users, to ensure they do not develop a “marijuana addiction.”
“The fact is, cannabis is safer than alcohol,” said Larsen. “Subjecting cannabis users to mandatory, forced treatment would be ineffective, expensive and pointless. Kennedy likes to claim that 1 in 6 people who try cannabis become addicts, but he considers people who toke even just once a week to be addicted! That’s like saying everyone who has a beer with dinner is an alcoholic, and must be forced into AA!”
“Kennedy’s rhetoric is all about the children, and potential harms to minors who smoke cannabis,” said Larsen, “yet the best way to keep cannabis out of the hands of children is with legalization and regulation for adults.”
Dana Larsen will be holding a press conference at 332 Water St from 11:15 to 11:45am, immediately before Patrick Kennedy’s presentation. All media and interested parties are invited to attend.