Newshawk: Educators For Sensible Drug Policy: http://www.efsdp.org
Pubdate: April 20, 2007
Source: Chief, The (CN BC)
Address: Box 3500, 38117 Second Avenue, Squamish B.C., Canada, V0N 3G0
Copyright: 2007 Whistler Printing & Publishing
Author: Susan Hollis
Pot advocate for MP?
Former Marijuana Party member visits Squamish as NDP candidate
A former Marijuana Party member and vocal pot advocate visited Squamish Tuesday (April 17) in his new role as the riding's federal NDP candidate.
Dana Larsen spoke to the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country NDP constituency group and members of the public as the only New Democratic Party member gunning to represent his party in the riding. "I'm here representing our party partly because I want to win, partly because I want to put ideas forward and put them into the public consciousness of the values we hold in common and the views we share," said Larsen, who raised concerns that the country is being run by an elite core. "There are a lot of different areas and public policies that need to change and do better, but one of the things we have a nexus at is the struggle between our democratic institutions and the corporate control that is increasing in our society and our country."
Voicing opinions on everything from marijuana laws, the Olympics, and the corporate elite, it doesn't look like Larsen will have a problem getting the okay that he needs to run locally.
Larsen waxed philosophical when queried about how some of the more right-wing constituents of the riding will feel about his past connection to the Marijuana Party and his pro-hemp activism.
"The vast majority of people in British Columbia are in support of changing our marijuana laws, and I think that goes for people in all classes and all strata of society," he said. "I think if you're the kind of person that thinks people that smoke marijuana should go to jail, then probably you weren't going to vote NDP anyway."
When questioned about how he would tackle environmental preservation and a reduction in greenhouse gases, Larsen opined that a total overhaul of the current system was needed to decrease human impact on ecosystems.
"Something I want to talk about in our campaign is our need to use plants and to turn back to plants as our sources of fuel, sources of fibre, and sources of food," he said. "Something else we can do is use plant materials for building, hemp especially is good for this and the hemp industry in our country should be loosened up so people can use it more frequently."
Larsen and his supporters hope to secure campaign offices in every main municipality in the riding. While he won't be surprised if an election was called in the very near future, Larsen said he has his fingers crossed for a fall election, which would give him time to make inroads throughout the region.
"I want the time to do some pre-election work and make some growth in this riding," he said, adding that he plans to take an aggressive approach in the more difficult area of West Vancouver, traditionally a conservative and liberal stronghold. "I think we need to be brave and bold and go into West Vancouver in a serious way and try and have an impact there, there is no point of us being afraid of going in and having an impact there."
When asked point blank if he supported the Olympics, Larsen answered with a simple "no."
"If it had been up to me, I would say 'no', but I think we have to make the best of it, there is no turning back," he said. "I think it's going to cost a lot of money and benefit a minority of people and not the majority of residents in the province.
With no competition, it is expected that Larsen will win his party's nod by acclimation this Saturday (April 21), at the nomination meeting in Roberts Creek.