On November 27, I officially resigned my membership in the Canadian Marijuana Party, and my role as Leader of the BC Marijuana Party. I did this so I could join Canada’s New Democratic Party, commonly known as the NDP.
The NDP is Canada’s fourth largest political party, and is almost certainly going to grow in influence and Members of Parliament in Canada’s next federal election, to be held in Spring 2004. It is my intention to run as a candidate for the NDP in my riding of West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast.
I made this move away from the parties that I helped found, because I believe that the NDP is the best hope for Canada’s future. The NDP is Canada’s only major party whose leader has explicitly stated support for fully legalized marijuana. NDP Leader Jack Layton did an interview with Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery on Pot-TV, in which Layton called cannabis a “wonderful” substance, and said that it should be enjoyed in a “legal environment.”
The NDP is also a proponent of social justice, Canadian sovereignty, and proportional representation. The party also took a strong stand against the US invasion of Iraq, and supports the idea of legal gay marriage.
There is now an ongoing debate within the Canadian Marijuana Party, as to whether the whole federal party should be dissolved into the NDP, or whether there is still a role for the party to play. This will be more fully covered next issue, but at this point it looks like Canada’s Marijuana Party will persist through this coming federal election.
In the US, there is no major federal party willing to take a strong stand in support of fully legal marijuana, and so the US state Marijuana Parties continue to proliferate. Modeled after our successes in Canada, we hope that these US parties also start to see their pro-pot platforms being adopted by the mainstream parties.
We have been invited into Canada’s political mainstream, and we should not squander this unique opportunity. I urge my Canadian readers to join the NDP, and work to nominate local NDP candidates who back their leader’s pro-legalization stance. This is a unique opportunity to have our voice heard inside Parliament, and for us to actually create laws which will liberate our culture and our plant.
I urge my Canadian readers to follow my lead and join the NDP. Let’s work from within, to nominate and elect pro-pot candidates at the federal level. Let’s ensure that in Spring 2004, we have people in government who will push for complete legalization of marijuana and an end to the drug war.
Yours in liberty,
Editor, Cannabis Culture