Wednesday, October 01, 2008

He's Kind of Angry For a Stoner

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.


  1. Some weirdness is going on here. Back in the day, Dana Larsen created an advocacy group called eNDProhibition. One of its most vocal member was none other than John Shavluk. From what I understand, the two had a falling out, and now hate each other with a passion. When the Shavluk story was first looked into -- about a year before Jago got it -- Shavluk wrote on an internet forum that he thought Dana leaked the story. A week or two after Shavluk gets the boot, what happens... someone leaks the Larsen videos to the press. Coincidence?

  2. I sincerely doubt it.

    Interestingly, though, when Layton started associating with Larsen and Emery via Pot-TV, he was clearly trying to brand himself as someone sympathetic to their movement.

    Yet he either didn't watch enough Pot-TV to ever see the Larsen video in question, or had seen it, and just didn't expect anyone else to find out about it.

    Which leads me to wonder about the NDP's candidate vetting process. Are they letting these candidates through just not knowing the sheer magnitude of the resources most political parties are devoting to opposition research?

    If so, one would have to think that they're secretly condoning these activities.


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