Snoop Dogg concert, free pot offered as voting incentives
Medical marijuana seen as a federal election issue for pot advocates
A Vancouver marijuana dispensary is offering some unusual perks in an effort to get voters to cast a ballot for the Oct. 19 federal election — a chance to see American rapper Snoop Dogg perform, and a shot at winning free pot.
Danny Kresnyak said he's spearheading Eden Medicinal Society's get-out-the-vote campaign because he believes marijuana policy is a federal election issue.
"We're going to have people hitting the street with hand bills; there's going to be posters up," said Kresnyak.
Eden Medicinal Society is offering two prizes as a voting incentive:
- Members who can prove they voted on election day can enter to win the chance to be a judge at a cannabis competition — a prize that comes with about 40 grams of competition-grade cannabis.
- Non-members who prove they voted are eligible to win a ticket to the event, which will include a performance by Snoop Dogg at the Harvest Moon Cup in Vancouver.
Eden has five dispensaries and almost 15,000 members.
Kresnyak said the campaign is a non-partisan initiative.
"We're not about making an explicit comment and saying you vote this way," he said. "We're about giving people the freedom of choice because we believe that's the essence of democracy."
Vancouver-based marijuana advocacy group Sensible B.C. is more explicit with their election initiatives. It's encouraging people to vote for anyone but the Conservative Party.
"The main thing for us is to reach out to our base — to those people that consider cannabis reform to be a very high priority for them, and to encourage them, to give them some guidance as to who to vote for," said Dana Larsen with Sensible B.C.
Larsen said volunteers are also reaching out to people in specific ridings, like Courtenay-Alberni and elsewhere in the Okanagan.
He said Sensible B.C. has a reach of about 30,000 people through its phone and email lists.
With files from CBC's Chantelle Bellrichard