Cannabis in Canada: The Illustrated History written by Dana Larsen with artwork by Patrick Dowers
Smells like a good read
Dana Larsen’s marketing ploy gets your attention, but it could also get him arrested
One morning this week, when I opened my mail at work, one of the books sent for review caught my attention.
It was a large graphic novel, Cannabis in Canada, written by Vancouver marijuana activist Dana Larsen and illustrated by Patrick Dowers.
It was the smell that really grabbed me. Inside the book was a small brown paper envelope containing a gram of marijuana, which dispersed the telltale scent of weed throughout the office.
Larsen said he mailed out about 100 packages just before Christmas to Liberal Members of Parliament and members of the media across the country, each with a copy of his new book and a gram of pot. He hopes the package gets their attention, too.
“I want them to read the book. I would like them to learn more about cannabis history,” Larsen said in an interview. “They’re going to be legalizing it soon and I think if we’re going to be looking forward to how we will legalize it, it’s good to look back and see how it was made illegal and the important role this plant has played in Canadian history and Canadian culture.”
Long time Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre Hedy Fry, who is also a physician, got the same package. She said she is concerned that the package could get into the hands of youth and that it was mailed, which doesn’t comply with the regulations for transporting marijuana in Canada.
“Our government has promised to legalize cannabis because Canadian youth have the highest access and rate of use of cannabis in the world, (according to UNICEF and WHO),” Fry said. “Legalizing and regulating, including age limits for sale, as we do with cigarettes and alcohol, will prevent access by youth.”
She noted that Canadian youth have the lowest rate of tobacco use in the world.
Some MP constituency office addresses were not set up yet, but Larsen says he will mail more books and pot out in the New Year.
Larsen is the founder of Sensible B.C., an organization devoted to legalizing marijuana, and he was a founding member of the B.C. Marijuana Party and the Canadian Marijuana Party. He ran as an NDP candidate in 2008 and in 2011 he ran for the leadership of the B.C. NDP.
Sending pot in the mail isn’t legal, Larsen said.
“But then, pretty much nothing I do in terms of marijuana is actually legal,” he said. “If you’ve still got that marijuana on your desk, you’re breaking the law by possessing it.”
None of the MPs he sent the book to has responded, Larsen said, but he thinks they were likely just receiving the packages on Tuesday.
The Vancouver Sun contacted the Liberal Party of Canada, Canada Post and Liberal MP and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould for reaction to the package, with no response.
Larsen hopes the Liberals will fulfil their campaign promise to legalize marijuana, but he’s now concerned with what legalization will look like. There has been a push for marijuana to be sold in government liquor stores, a move Larsen said he isn’t completely opposed to.
“As long as there are other options, too, I’m not too worried about it, but if they’re going to give liquor stores a monopoly on cannabis sales, that I think is a mistake,” Larsen said, adding that because many people use marijuana as a substitute for alcohol it wouldn’t be a good idea to send them into liquor stores to buy marijuana.
The book sells for $9.95 and can be bought at CannabisHistory.ca.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Article source Vancouver Sun
Pot activist’s mailout to Liberal MPs: book with a gram
Dana Gee / The Province
VANCOUVER — Liberal MPs will soon be getting some interesting and fragrant mail.
Pot activist and former B.C. NDP leadership candidate Dana Larsen is sending a special package to the 184 politicians. The manila envelope contains his and illustrator Patrick Dowers’ new book Cannabis in Canada, the Illustrated History — as well as a gram (about $12-$15 worth) of medical-grade marijuana.
“It’s not legal to mail people weed … but most of Canada’s marijuana laws are made to be broken, so that’s just another one,” said Larsen, who added he is not worried about any legal backlash.
“I don’t think any Liberal MP is going to call the police, and if they do I don’t think the police are going to come after me for a gram of pot.”
This isn’t Larsen’s first time sending pot to politicians. In 2014 he sent B.C. Premier Christy Clark a half ounce to point out the taxes that could be generated by pot and to also suggest it could be used as a way to bring together the government and the B.C. Teachers Federation whose members had been on strike for months.
This time out, the pot is value-added to a 132-page book that takes readers on a journey from our country’s first cannabis crop back in 1606 to the current day and the fluid world of medical marijuana.
“I don’t think the story has been told before,” said Larsen who was a founding member of the B.C. Marijuana party and the co-founder of the Vancouver Dispensary Society and Vancouver Seed Bank.
“We mostly get a lot of American information. So we know that George Washington grew cannabis and stuff like that, but the Canadian story has not really been told.”
The book retails for $9.95. You can get your copy from cannabishistory.ca or check out your favourite hemp or head shop.
As for the packages to politicians, Larsen said he has yet to hear back from any MPs.
“No one has called me and said, ‘Thanks for the book and the gram,’ ” said Larsen, who has been working on the book for 20 years.
“I’d be surprised if too many MPs smoke it themselves, but you never know. Probably someone on their staff will get to enjoy it. It will get them talking about the issue, which is important.”
© Copyright Times Colonist
Article source The Province
Why Did Dozens Of Politicians Get Pot For Christmas?
Pro-legalization American lawmakers have been feuding with the U.S. Postal Service, which refuses to deliver newspapers including cannabis ads. Meanwhile in Canada, a cannabis activist and author recently mailed out review copies of his latest book that contained it’s own special “study aid” – actual marijuana.
Dana Larsen, founder of Sensible B.C., played Santa over the Christmas break by sending out review copies of Cannabis in Canada: The Illustrated History (co-authored by illustrator Patrick Dowers). One hundred lucky recipients – mainly Liberal Party members of parliament and media – also received a gram of medical-grade cannabis in their packages. And Larsen plans to mail more “deluxe editions” in the New Year, once the rest of the new Liberal MPs have set up their constituency offices.
The stunt is about advocacy as much as publicity. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana nationwide. And Larsen wants to keep that issue fresh on the government’s minds by giving legislators a crash course in Canada’s cannabis history.
“I would like them to learn more about cannabis history,” Larsen told The Vancouver Sun. “They’re going to be legalizing it soon and I think if we’re going to be looking forward to how we will legalize it, it’s good to look back and see how it was made illegal and the important role this plant has played in Canadian history and Canadian culture.”
In total, Larsen mailed 6.5 ounces of cannabis over the holidays. That’s a crime according to the laws of the land, where prohibition reigns until the Liberals officially legalize. Only licensed medical dispensaries can send cannabis through the mail. But Larsen isn’t worried about getting busted:
“It’s not legal to mail people weed…but most of Canada’s marijuana laws are made to be broken, so that’s just another one,” Larsen told The Province. “I don’t think any Liberal MP is going to call the police, and if they do I don’t think the police are going to come after me for a gram of pot.”
But he doesn’t have high hopes that they’ll smoke the Christmas gift either: “I’d be surprised if too many MPs smoke it themselves, but you never know. Probably someone on their staff will get to enjoy it. It will get them talking about the issue, which is important.”
Full disclosure: Civilized’s advanced copy did not include a gram. Guess we weren’t on the nice list.