Pro-legalization American lawmakers have been feuding with the U.S. Postal Service, which refuses to deliver newspapers including cannabis ads. Meanwhile in Canada, a cannabis activist and author recently mailed out review copies of his latest book that contained it's own special "study aid" - actual marijuana.
Dana Larsen, founder of Sensible B.C., played Santa over the Christmas break by sending out review copies of Cannabis in Canada: The Illustrated History (co-authored by illustrator Patrick Dowers). One hundred lucky recipients - mainly Liberal Party members of parliament and media - also received a gram of medical-grade cannabis in their packages. And Larsen plans to mail more "deluxe editions" in the New Year, once the rest of the new Liberal MPs have set up their constituency offices.
The stunt is about advocacy as much as publicity. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana nationwide. And Larsen wants to keep that issue fresh on the government's minds by giving legislators a crash course in Canada's cannabis history.
"I would like them to learn more about cannabis history," Larsen told The Vancouver Sun. "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."
In total, Larsen mailed 6.5 ounces of cannabis over the holidays. That's a crime according to the laws of the land, where prohibition reigns until the Liberals officially legalize. Only licensed medical dispensaries can send cannabis through the mail. But Larsen isn't worried about getting busted:
"It's not legal to mail people weed...but most of Canada's marijuana laws are made to be broken, so that's just another one," Larsen told The Province. "I don't think any Liberal MP is going to call the police, and if they do I don't think the police are going to come after me for a gram of pot."
But he doesn't have high hopes that they'll smoke the Christmas gift either: "I'd be surprised if too many MPs smoke it themselves, but you never know. Probably someone on their staff will get to enjoy it. It will get them talking about the issue, which is important."
Full disclosure: Civilized's advanced copy did not include a gram. Guess we weren't on the nice list.