Pot advocate preaches at Prestige

Dana Larsen invited audience to join “biggest civil disobedience movement in history”.

Pot activist Dana Larsen spoke at the Prestige on Tuesday.

He wants people to plant cannabis in public places.

Notorious pot activist Dana Larsen was in Nelson on Tuesday evening, and during his talk at the Prestige Lakeside Resort he distributed envelopes that included Ziploc bags containing CBD-rich cannabis seeds.

“By giving away these seeds and encouraging people to plant them in public places like traffic circles, in front of city hall and police stations or on their own property, I want to normalize the cultivation of cannabis,” he said during his talk, which was attended by approximately 40 people.

“I’ve been giving away these seeds because I want to take you to the future of the cannabis movement and where we’re going to go, to the positive vision we can all share.”

The stop was part of Larsen’s Overgrow Canada campaign, a civil disobedience project that aims to distribute five million marijuana seeds across the country in 2017. The tour got him arrested for trafficking in Calgary last year, but Larsen remains defiant in the potential lead-up to federal legalization.

He praised the six existing dispensaries in Nelson, saying,“It’s not easy to operate in the face of this sort of hostility.”

“Some of our dispensaries in Canada are 20 years old, but the vast majority have opened in the last two or three years, in communities just like this. Some have been raided or attacked, but the majority continue to operate and the ones that were raided have already re-opened.”

Larsen said, “The dispensary movement is part of our ongoing movement to liberate our plant and our culture through civil disobedience.”

The 45-year former leader of the BC Marijuana Party and editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine preached to a small group of friendly faces during the event, while weighing in on the recent arrests of his fellow activists and colleagues Marc and Jodie Emery. Coincidentally, the event was held during MLA Wayne Stetski’s telephone town hall on legalization.

He said these arrests, and his “silly little night in Calgary jail,” actually help their movement.

“It just draws more attention and sympathy, and people get activated in a way they wouldn’t be otherwise without that crisis point.”

Asked by a member of the public on his opinion about Nelson’s move to regulate the dispensaries, and to introduce a $5,000 business license fee, Larsen said, “Yes, I’m disappointed with Mayor Deb Kozak”.

“Municipalities often deal with these laws that are no longer valid. Bong shops all across the country get business licenses from their city councils, and they’ve quickly learned if they raid them they’ll get complaints but if they leave them alone they don’t get any.”

He said the federal government often makes choices that put an onus on municipal and provincial governments.

“It’s the federal government that passes these laws, but it’s the provinces that need to pay for all the enforcement. These people end up in provincial prisons paid for by provincial taxes, and then it’s the cities that end up dealing with things like supervised injection sites.”

He noted that safe injection sites are another example of local governments turning a benevolently blind eye.

“They’re not going to send anyone in to raid a safe injection site because they know they’re saving lives. These local governments are making these sorts of decisions all the time.”

Larsen floated the idea of starting a truth and reconciliation process for “people who were hurt, or whose lives were ruined, by cannabis prohibition.”

“We are close to reaching cannabis legalization and we can make this happen, but we’re not there yet. Together we can reap a harvest of freedom.”

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Business after Business highlights Traction on Demand

It’s the first time Malpass has spoken formally to the business community about his purchase of Branch 51 of the Royal Canadian Legion

Premier Horgan talks jobs and opportunity at Castlegar mill

Upbeat visit brings message of hope and co-operation among Kootenay forestry players

Nelson couple expecting identical girl triplets

Pregnancies of this type are incredibly rare

Martial arts students breaking boards to end violence

The annual Breaking Boards, Breaking Chains runs April 27

Shoreacres crash injuries two drivers seriously

Crash blocks Highway 3A for nearly two hours at suppertime

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Boating incident claims life on East Kootenay lake

A young man has died after a canoe overturned in Moyie Lake early Tuesday morning

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read