Affordable housing and the establishment of a hemp fibre paper plant in Squamish are the key local issues B.C. Marijuana Party candidate for the West Vancouver Garibaldi riding will be pushing in the upcoming provincial election.
Robert Adam will be running against incumbent Liberal MLA Ted Nebbeling, NDP candidate Barrie MacLeod and Green Party hopeful, Peter Tatroff. The election must be called by June 28, 2001.
Adam says its the first time he has officially entered a political race, although he has a life-long interest in issues affecting the community. Originally from Alberta, he first came to Squamish at age 16 and picked up work in the forest industry. Among the trades in his portfolio are mill worker, merchant marine, heli logger, tree planter, house builder, chef and for the past eight years, his own window washing business. He says he was practising yoga in a local vegetarian restaurant when he was approached by someone who thought he should stand for the Marijuana Party.
"I strongly support what the party is trying to do, so thought why not," he explains. "Im also writing a book about making marijuana legal so the timing was good."
Legalization of pot is not the B.C Marijuanas sole campaign issue. The party is also campaigning to reverse the trend toward more government control over citizens personal lives. Other election platform issues include; licensing brothels to end street prostitution, a school "voucher" system to allow families more choice in education, replacing B.C.s referendum act with an initiative law like the ones in Oregon and Alaska, reinforcing restorative justice and victims rights, and expanding access to alternative medicines, while improving B.C.s healthcare system.
Adam says he plans to meet soon with B.C Hydro to discuss his hemp plant proposal and is researching similar hemp ventures around the world.
"Squamish is in desperate need of new ideas and young people to help bring about change," he says. "I hope my tenure will usher in some of these changes."
Adam says most people in the Squamish community have been openly supportive of his campaign, but he has encountered some prejudice from people once they realize he is pro-marijuana.
Dana Larsen, who ran for the Marijuana Party in the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast riding during the federal election in November, is the partys provincial candidate in Powell River-Sunshine Coast.