Canadian Conservatives Joined The 21st Century This Past Weekend

Canada's Conservative Party held a national convention for its membership last weekend in Vancouver. There's no better way to describe the events than to say, as tweeted by Buzzfeed Politics Editor Paul McLeod, shit got weird.

That's Canadian Member of Parliament Marilyn Gladu addressing the crowd while dressed as the Grim Reaper. And her little performance wasn't even the weirdest thing at the convention. Here is a clip of Conservative Member of Parliament Arnold Viersen "rapping".

Convention not all costume parties and funky beats

However, there was some serious progress made at the convention. Two-thirds of the party adopted a motion to strike down the Conservative's official policy against gay marriage, an issue the Canadian public and courts resolved more than a decade ago.

This new "refreshed" stance on gay marriage did not pass without passionate debate. This too was expertly captured in a series of tweets from Paul McLeod.

Cannabis also discussed at convention

Canada's current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau successfully waged a fall election campaign, which included a promise to legalize and regulate cannabis nationwide. Conservative candidates and leadership at the time strongly opposed the plan for reforming cannabis laws.

"We've spent a couple of generations trying to reduce the usage of tobacco in Canada, with a lot of success. Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage. Marijuana is infinitely worse." - Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Oct 3, 2015

On Saturday, party membership split with their former leader's hardline stance and instead voted 718-491 in favor of a policy that would see possession of small amounts of cannabis decriminalized. People caught with marijuana would be ticketed, not face arrest and a potential criminal record.

Given that Trudeau's government has publicly vowed to bring forward full legalization legislation in the spring of 2017, the Conservatives new policy should prove very useful in some alternate universe, perhaps the same universe where Gangnam Style is still popular.

At a simultaneous convention for Canada's Liberal Party, Trudeau expressed hope the country's Conservatives might also join Canadians in adopting other Liberal policies.

"Better late than never," Prime Minister Trudeau said. "Who knows…10 years from now, they might finally be willing to admit that climate change is real. Or that tax cuts for rich people don't help the middle class. Or that government shouldn't legislate what women can wear on their heads."

h/t The Hamilton Spectator, CBC

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I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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