Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pass the bong, my favourite former NDP candidate is back

You may remember Dana Larsen as the former NDP candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. He was the first of three NDP candidates in B.C. during the 2008 campaign that were forced to drop out of the race, all within about a week. The other two being, of course, Kirk Tousaw in Vancouver-Quadra and Julian West in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

To refresh your memory:

An NDP candidate has dropped out of the race after videotape surfaced showing him dropping hallucinogenic drugs and driving while smoking marijuana.

Old video surfaced showing Dana Larsen lighting a mouth stuffed full of marijuana joints, taking hallucinogenic drugs and driving while stoned. Clips shown on television news show Mr. Larsen taking hallucinogenic drugs including LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

After taking DMT, he was shown driving a vehicle.

"We finished our psychedelic voyaging for the evening and now we're just driving home, smoking our very last joint that I rolled in advance," Mr. Larsen said on tape from the now defunct

Larsen stepped aside and the NDP replaced him with another candidate. I figured that was the last we’d hear of Mr. Larsen. But turns out he’s back. Or, more accurately, never really went away. The NDP is having a convention in Halifax this summer, and Dana intends to make his voice heard. And he won’t be shying away from the drug issues that cost him is candidacy either.

From Rabble:

Want to go to Halifax but can’t afford transportation or lodgings? No problem. Dana will cover the long as you vote his way. I’d just avoid being in the vehicle he’s driving though. Or anywhere around that vehicle when its on the road.

I look forward to seeing what policies Dana puts forward at the convention, and how they’re received. It will also be interesting to see if Marc Emery is at the convention, and what he has to say about Jack Layton’s characterization during the campaign of their relationship, or lack thereof.

**For the record, I have no problem with light recreational drug use, although I’d put marijuana and LSD in different categories. I support marijuana decriminalization; I’m not sold on legalization. Where you lose me though, and where Dana stepped over the line, is when he drove while using. Driving under the influence is wrong, whether its alcohol or drugs. What you do in your own home, knock yourself out. But don’t put innocent lives at risk by taking it on the road.

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Devin Johnston said...

At past conventions he has generally introduced a variety of decriminalization/legalization policies, most of which never see life on the convention floor. It will be interesting to me to see what if any repercussions there will be for the apparent vote-buying, which deeply offends me as a card-carrying New Democrat.

Mike said...

Hey, instead of moralizing and taking advantge of this for partisan politics, how about some Liberals look at how legalizing pot mihgt just be the thing to pull us out of recession.

Naw, pick on the ex-NDP candidate because it conveniently embarrasses a political enemy.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Devin, not sure what internal NDP rules are on vote-buying, but I was surprised to see it spelled out so publicly.

Mike, are you OK with drunk driving too? Is that also needless moralizing?

Rod said...

Here's the original CBC report on Larsen's removal from the NDP, including the best bits from Weedy Wednesdays.

Mike: When a candidate is as attention-grabbing an individual as Dana Larsen, I don't discussion about him counts as partisan.

Dirk Buchholz said...

BCer said..."Driving under the influence is wrong, whether its alcohol or drugs. What you do in your own home, knock yourself out. But don’t put innocent lives at risk by taking it on the road"...

please just drop it.Enough all ready who the hell has not dropped acid or smoked the "demon weed".

Greg said...

I guess this beats having to talk about the budget.

burlivespipe said...

Ah Dirk, your incoherent defence wouldn't be typed under the influence, eh? While I choose not to imbibe, I agree that it is your option sir. But like BCTO sez, don't put others at risk. That means no to driving under the influence. Do we need to see a MAD(oped)D(drivers)2?

Koby said...

Yes Larson is a loud mouth. And without a doubt his candidacy set back the legalization movement. That said, there is no evidence that ousting the NDP candidates in Quarda and West Vancouver did anything for the Liberals this last time out and that it will do anything moving forward. Indeed, it probably helped the Conservatives this last time out. There is an assumption is the NDP voters are more likely to move from the Liberals than anywhere else. However, with the notable exception of a few urban Vancouver and Victoria ridings this is simply not the case. Outside of those few ridings NDP voters are far more likely to go Conservative than Liberal.

Worse of all though is that legalizing marijuana is exactly the type of thing the Liberals should be getting behind. The party of PET is but a shadow of its former self. Liberal policy is not a outgrowth of coherent set of ideals. Nope: Liberal policy is arrived at by spliting the difference between the NDP and Conservatives. The Liberals are boring and conservative albeit in a nice Joe Clark kind of way. There is nothing liberal about the Liberals. A commitment to universality has given way to an awful mix of identity politics asymmetrical federalism and neo conservative economics.