Opposition to B.C. pro-marijuana activist Dana Larsen’s cross-country “Overgrow the Government” civil disobedience tour has followed him from Vancouver to Kelowna.
But Larsen said having the original venue for his tour’s kick-off event here tonight pulled at the last minute is not about to stop him.
“We got another hotel but if we hadn’t, I would have held it in a park or even outside the police station,” Larsen told the Capital News.
His Overgrow the Government event is scheduled for Kelowna’s Prestige Inn tonight, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Larson said a woman from from Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada—whom he described as an “anti-cannabis crusader” not only complained to the Holiday Inn about the event, she also contacted the police. And she did the same to the hotel Larsenis slated to speak at in Calgary later this week. Following the Kelowna complaint, the Holiday Inn turned Larsen away, so he booked at room at the Prestige Inn instead.
Larsen said he plans give away free cannabis seeds at the Kelonwa event and at the 13 other stops on his cross-Canada tour. He wants individuals could grow their own pot plants in defiance of current Canada cannabis laws.
He said the only way to pressure the new federal Liberal government into carrying through with its election promise to legalize marijuana was through civicl disobedience.
“All the progress we’ve made against cannabis prohibition in Canada has come from civil disobedience,” said Larsen.
The Overgrow the Government tour will take Larsen to Alberta later this week where he will host a hospitality suite in Edmonton at the Alberta NDP annual convention.
Larsen said with polls showing a majority in favour of legalizing cannabis in Canada, continued prosecution of people who grow their own pot and use it is wrong. He said there have been approoximately 25,000 proecutions associated with cannabis since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to office in Ocotober.
In addition to wanting change at the federal level, Larsen also wants to see it at the municipal level.
“If mayors do not support (marijuana) dispensaries for instance, they get shut down,” he said.”(Mayors) tell the police what to do.”
He said he thinks Kelowna has one of the highest rates of charges for marijuana possession in B.C.