During the course of the 2008 federal election, NDP leader Jack Layton has run into some troubles over an alleged deal he struck with Marc Emery, the party has had some pot-related troubles.
Over the course of the campaign, Layton has shed two candidates over drug-related issues.
Layton himself denies the deal. But one particular individual -- clearly a Marijuana party activist -- takes exception to his denial.
Posting videos on YouTube under the name LyingLayton, one individual has taken it upon himself to reveal the depth of the alleged collaboration between Layton and Emery.
In one video, "LyingLayton" inserts numerous "fact checks" balloons into a video of Layton being asked by Jane Taber to comment on the allegations during an appearance on CTV's Question Period:
Another video features Layton speaking to Emery and Larsen's POT-TV, wherein Layton speaks ambiguously about marijuana decriminalization:
In another video, Layton appears on Much Music during the 2004 campaign in which he admits to having used marijuana (not terribly damaging, considering the broad number of Canadians who have either tried, or continue to use, marijuana).
During the video, Layton commits to removing marijuana from the criminal code, and commits to (as he previously described on POT-TV) a "rules-based system" wherein driving under the influence would remain forbidden (thus the removal of the irrepressible and irresponsible -- if not outright retarded -- Larsen as an NDP candidate).
In another video, Layton appears speaking with a Marc Emery and notes that his candidates are running on a platform of legalizing -- not merely decriminalizing -- pot:
He also invokes the expressed opinions of then-Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell, who also favoured reform of marijuana-related drug laws.
Layton also speaks of visiting Amsterdam, and expresses an opinion that legalized marijuana would somehow be "self-regulating".
In the final video, Emery stumps for Layton.
Layton "gets it", and is "one of us", Emery insists.
Maybe not so much as Emery believed. Not only does Layton seem to want to disassociate himself from his obvious association with Emery and his cohorts, but apparently was never in full solidarity with them in the first place.
After all, when Dana Larsen took video of himself driving while smoking pot, he must have believed that it was A-OK. Whether or not he ever imagined his party would be A-OK with it is another matter entirely.
In the end, however, it's certainly better that Layton is willing to stake limits on his association with the Marijuana party and its activists.
After all, anyone in this country whose favoured political issue is whether or not they can toke up legally is simply too stupid to be taken seriously, and should do all Canadians a favour by declining to vote.