Pro-pot group protests Kennedy speech in Vancouver
Pro-legalization group Sensible BC’s Dana Larsen is "tired of American politicians coming here and telling us how we need to deal with our marijuana policy.” (SCREEN GRAB ADA SLIVINSKI/SUN NEWS)
A former U.S. politician set to speak out against marijuana legalization in Vancouver is facing opposition from the city’s pro-pot crowd.
Pro-legalization group Sensible BC’s Dana Larsen said he plans to buy tickets to the Vancouver Board of Trade’s event on marijuana in the workplace, where former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy — a strong opponent of legalization — is slated to speak.
“We’d have to see if they’d sell us a table or let us in,” said Larsen.
Kennedy was in Vancouver Friday, and Larsen and several other supporters of Sensible BC protested outside the Gastown restaurant where the member of the prominent U.S. political family spoke at a private lunch.
Kennedy, a recovering drug addict, said there is much Canada can learn from the mistakes of the United States with respect to legalization.
“We’re both facing the same challenge to the public health, particularly for our young people because of the proliferation of marijuana under the guise of medical marijuana and, God forbid, legalization, is going to impact the future generations because of the developing brain,” he said.
Larsen said Friday, “We’re tired of American politicians coming here and telling us how we need to deal with our marijuana policy.”
Larsen said there are many members of the business community who are supporters of Sensible BC, and he would like to ask Kennedy some pointed questions.
Kennedy said he wants to encourage debate about the drug.
“What we’re trying to do is engage people. The worry is that people aren’t paying much attention to this issue,” he said. “It’s [legal marijuana] going to become law and people are going to wake up and say, ‘How did this happen?’”
No new date has been set for the VBOT event, which was originally planned for last Friday, but has been postponed.