Pubdate: Thu, 01 Jun 2006
Source: Williams Lake Tribune, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Williams Lake Tribune
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


The leader of the provincial Green Party stopped by Williams Lake on 
Thursday to discuss local issues as a part of her 21-day road tour through B.C.

Adriane Carr said it's important for candidates to be active between 
elections, and said some of her goals for the tour were to build a 
membership, conduct workshops on campaigning, and discuss local 
issues with people of any party.

One of the biggest issues she said she is continually addressing is 
the mountain pine beetle.

"When loggers are saying to the Green Party 'we need your help,' 
there is a revolution happening," Carr said.

She said that one of the best things the government can do to battle 
the effects of the pine beetle is to stop selling raw logs.

"We should really be looking at financial incentives for companies 
that make value added products with pine beetle wood," Carr said. 
"The future is in value added, and we should use the opportunity of 
the pine beetle to make that shift," she added.

She also said that the Green Party of B.C. is very eager to make the 
province more self-sufficient. She would like to see more local 
growing and selling of agricultural products, and more protection for 
small-scale agriculture. The Liberal idea to make agriculture 
large-scale doesn't simplify things, especially for an independent 
farmer, Carr said.

The federal candidate for Cariboo-Prince George, Alex Bracewell, was 
in the Overlander Hotel with the other Greens on Thursday, and said 
that he strongly agrees with Carr's goals of making agriculture more 
open to small-scale operators. He said that that's just one of the 
Green Party's common sense ideas.

"They (other parties) all have some good ideas, but every time we get 
a new party in power they say 'Oh we can't have anything that the 
last party thought of,' and they scrap everything. Why not start a 
party with just the good ideas," Bracewell said.

He said that the party is not as radical as the public tends to think.

"I'm not against logging. I'm not against mining. I'm not against 
anything as long as it's not done to excess," he said. "My philosophy 
has always been 'use it, don't abuse it.'"

Carr and her tour organizer Tom Cornwall also discussed the party's 
stance on the legalization of marijuana. Carr said the party thinks 
the drug should be legalized, but not to make it easier for people to access.

"Obviously legalization is not the ideal situation," Cornwall said. 
"The ideal situation is nobody smoking marijuana at all, but they do," he said.

Cornwall said that B.C. residents spend $2.1 billion on pot every 
year. He said that most of this money is going to the dangerous gangs 
at the top of the drug pyramid.

He said that the government should take the opportunity to make 
money, and to ensure the safety and quality of the drug.

"Marijuana in itself is not an addictive drug. This has been proven. 
But gangs want to keep making sales to the kids, so they mix it with 
addictive substances, which is dangerous," Cornwall said.

Carr said that the voices she has heard on this tour have the power 
to influence the party platform. She said she thinks the next 
platform will sway a lot of voters.

"A lot of people don't feel good about their vote. They try to vote 
strategically and end up disappointed," she said.

She said that every vote for the Green Party counts, because each 
vote is challenging a lot of voices.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman