Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jan 2016
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Tracy Sherlock
Page: A14
Cited: Sensible BC:


Cannabis graphic novel includes gram of marijuana

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.

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
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MAP posted-by: Matt