The Shotgun Blog
Friday, September 19, 2008
Larsen calls the attack on his past drug experimentation “a hit job” and the NDP says it will have a new candidate by the end of the day
Pique Magazine is reporting comments by Dana Larsen on his resignation as the NDP candidate for the riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.
“Clearly it was a hit job, it’s not that there was anything secret about this stuff — at least to anybody who knows me,” [Larsen] said Friday. “The videos were 10 years old, although I still stand by most of the stuff… but maybe I was naïve to think I could get through an election campaign without this stuff coming forward."
The “stuff” Larsen is talking about are archived videos on Pot-TV as well as his involvement in a business that sells, among others things, coca seeds. Larsen says he resigned in order to protect party leader Jack Layton from this controversy. Layton has said that "I don't know a lot of the details of what's gone on there, but he's obviously taken the decision that he's not a suitable candidate, and we've accepted that decision."
In my recent post “Some tough questions for Jack Layton on the Dana Larsen resignation,” I take issue with Layton’s claim that he “doesn’t know a lot of details” about the reasons for Larsen’s resignation. Layton and the NDP were well aware of Larsen’s anti-drug war activities and commentaries and, in a shocking display of cowardice, are now running from their candidate at the first sign of trouble.
If the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson could run for Sheriff of Aspen on a marijuana legalization platform, surely former Cannabis Culture editor Larsen should be able to run as an NDP candidate for parliament.
Posted by Matthew Johnston
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Another one bites the dust:
"In a statement released by the party Friday afternoon, Kirk Tousaw, the party's candidate in Vancouver Quadra, wrote: 'I feel compelled to make this difficult decision in light of the events of the past few days and the likelihood that my past involvement in drug policy reform work might serve to continue to take the focus away from the issues that matter most to Canadians.'
"An online video from 2005 shows Tousaw smoking marijuana with Emery and others as part of a competition to rate different strains."
Given how fast they are falling, how the hell is Gerry Ritz still a candidate? The mind boggles....
Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-09-19 5:07:09 PM
sorry, but we dont need more pot heads in parliment.
Posted by: merle | 2008-09-19 7:56:20 PM
I still don't get it. Why did Dana and Kirk resign? Why didn't they just refuse? Did their leader refuse to sign their nomination papers? Once in, what could the NDP do to make them resign?
Also, it should be stressed that their personal life choices are NOTHING to be ashamed of. The only thing they should be ashamed of is not understanding earlier that a reactionary party which believes that the collective owns your income and property means that the collective also owns your life choices. Perhaps this will open eyes that to the idea that anti-freedom positions in economics also lead to anti-freedom positions in civil liberties.
Posted by: Paul Geddes | 2008-09-19 8:14:45 PM
Paul, can the crap about the "collective." It's Left-wing parties, not Right-wing ones, that tend towards collectivism and Orwellianism. The 20th century provides ample proof of that.
As for "personal life choices nothing to be ashamed of," wake up. Being a druggie is nothing to be proud of. Driving while stoned is nothing to be proud of. Putting common criminals back on the street in exchange for money is nothing to be proud of.
That's the trouble with some people--no sense of shame.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-19 8:34:10 PM
As an NDPer and a anti-drug war activist, I can say that I was frustrated that the NDP didn't do a better job in vetting Dana. Video of him DRIVING under the influence does not do our cause any good, and is, frankly, terribly irresponsible. There are plenty of people who support marijuana legalization who do not, and would not, drive under the influence of any substance. I personally believe marijuana should be legalized immediately. It would take an awful lot of money out of the hands of REAL criminals in the black-market. Most people who smoke marijuana... well, you'd never expect who they are. Dana isn't representative of them. Or of me.
It is a real shame. The NDP reached out the anti-prohibitionists in good faith, and got stung. I really don't know what the hell they were thinking on the Sunshine Coast. There were plenty of people in the party who didn't want Dana as a candidate.
Posted by: Maraha | 2008-09-19 11:45:15 PM
You are right Shane. There are also reactionary parties on the right. Just turn my little epigram around and we get your party.
Someday, you're going to wake up and realize that all the conservative talk of free markets is empty and meaningless, because their main interest is controlling you. Any political party that believes it is right to persecute people who engage in peaceful, voluntary acts are also going to steal your income and property for the greater good. Liberty's indivisible which neither conservatives or NDPers seem to understand.
Posted by: Paul Geddes | 2008-09-20 12:24:58 AM
Sorry, Paul, but most of the totalitarian states of the 20th century have been Left-wing. Right-wing totalitarian states are rarer and typically arise in less-developed countries like Africa and South America. Although I suppose Russia is currently leaning towards a Right-wing totalitarian state.
As for conspiracy theories, don't make me laugh. Totalitarian states require a charismatic leader, and Stephen Harper, though a competent statesman (and certainly more so than any of his competition), certainly doesn't fit that bill. Nor does he seem the time to craft a cult of personality like Stalin or Saddam. And your entire reason for insinuating otherwise is that he won't let you get high. Selfish much?
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-20 8:44:59 AM
Maraha, you're forgetting that most B.C. Bud is destined for export to countries where it would remain illegal. Organized crime wouldn't drop one iota.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-09-20 8:46:09 AM
Gee, with the Greens selling out to the Liebrals, and the Dippers allying themselves with drug dealers, it's like Harper is the only good candidate out there. Who knew?
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-09-20 10:11:28 AM
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