Marijuana Activist Dana Larsen Announces Bid For BC NDP Leadership

CANNABIS CULTURE – Marijuana activist Dana Larsen, the former leader of the BC Marijuana Party and founder of Cannabis Culture Magazine, has launched his campaign for leadership of the BC NDP.

“I’m here today to formally announce my bid for leadership of British Columbia’s New Democratic Party,” he told members of the press gathered at the Thurlow location of The Vancouver Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary. “I’ve been a New Democrat member for seven years and in this time I’ve met many hundreds of my fellow party members in this province and across the country, and I believe that I offer a fresh vision, a real alternative voice, in this leadership race.”

Watch high quality video of the press conference on YouTube (or below).

Larsen is founder of the Vancouver Seed Bank and founding director of The Vancouver Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary. He ran as a federal NDP candidate in 2008 but resigned after pressure from the NDP party when TV stations began playing his Pot-TV videos.

In order to support his possible campaign for leadership and be eligible to vote at the NDP’s leadership convention on April 17, potential members must join the party three months before the vote in mid-January.

“If you are not signed up by mid-January, you are not eligible to vote for me or whoever you choose to vote for,” Larsen told Cannabis Culture. “You must be a member for 90 days.”

CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for membership in the BC NDP (if that link isn’t working, click here instead) or send in this membership form. Membership fees are a minimum $10 for the year (or $1 for the ‘underemployed’).

Over a dozen members of the local media gathered with cameras and microphones for the press conference, and stories about Larsen’s announcement began hitting the internet minutes afterward (see below for stories).

Pot activist seeks NDP leadership

Vancouver Sun

Longtime pot activist Dana Larsen will announce today that he is running for the leadership of the B.C. New Democrat Party, making him the first former leader of the Marijuana Party to seek that job.

The former federal NDP candidate and founding editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine, who was caught up in a pot-smoking controversy two years ago, has a news conference planned for 10:15 a.m. to formally announce his candidacy.

Larsen, an NDP member for seven years, told The Vancouver Sun Tuesday that he decided to run after much serious consideration.

“I have met with a number of current and former MLAs and other people within the party and my supporters and I think I have a good chance,” he said.

Larsen wants to make reforming the ballot initiative system — recently used by the Fight HST group to get a vote on the tax — a central part of his campaign.

“I’d like to see a system that was more amenable to getting more direct referendums in this province. I think more democracy in the province and in the NDP would be a good thing for all concerned.”

– Read more at The Vancouver Sun.

Dana Larsen expected to announce plans for BC NDP leadership


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A one-time candidate for the Federal NDP who quit after videos surfaced of him smoking weed is expected to announce his plan to run for leader of the BC New Democrats.

Dana Larsen is holding a news conference this morning. He is the founding editor of Cannabis Culture magazine and the co-founder of the BC Marijuana party. The videos forced him out as an NDP candidate in the 2008 federal election.

– Read more at News1130.

Pot activist Dana Larsen to run for provincial NDP leadership

The Province

Several years after his ouster as a federal NDP candidate, pot activist Dana Larsen is holding a press conference Wednesday morning to announce plans to run for the leadership of the B.C. New Democratic Party.

Larsen’s run as candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country went up in smoke during the federal election in 2008, after his pro-drug positions and a widely circulated video of him sampling various intoxicants proved embarrassing for the NDP.

“This province needs leadership that respects and listens to the community and that makes sustainable decisions based on evidence, not ideology,” Larsen said in advance of today’s press conference in Vancouver. “The B.C. NDP must be the party of ideas, not simply opposition.”

– Read more at The Province.

Pot activist kicks off B.C. NDP leadership race

CBC News

Marijuana activist Dana Larsen has become the first candidate to enter the B.C. NDP leadership race, saying he plans to make marijuana legalization an election issue.

Larsen was a former federal NDP candidate in West Vancouver but pulled out of the race after getting caught up in a pot-smoking controversy two years ago.

He is expected to officially kick off his campaign on Wednesday morning, but on his website Larsen had already laid out his platform.

“I support B.C. NDP policies which call for cannabis to be legally taxed and regulated. Cannabis is British Columbia’s biggest industry and it should be brought above ground,” he said.

– Read more at CBC News.

Marijuana activist Dana Larsen sparks up B.C. NDP leadership race

The Georgia Straight

Pot activist Dana Larsen has officially launched the first campaign to become the next B.C. New Democrat leader.

Larsen announced his candidacy today (December 29) during a news conference in Vancouver.

He said his campaign will focus on democracy, sustainability, social justice, and getting smart on crime.

– Read more at The Georgia Straight.

Pot legalization advocate doesn’t feel past will interfere with run for NDP leader

The Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER – A marijuana legalization advocate said today he doesn’t believe his past will interfere with his bid for the leadership of the New Democratic Party.

“I believe I offer a fresh vision and real alternatives,” Dana Larsen told reporters today.

He spoke at a news conference at The Dispensary, which sells medical marijuana to people with a doctor’s note or presciption.

Larsen, 39, is a paid director of three cannabis dispensaries in the Vancouver area.

– Read more at The Vancouver Sun.

Pro-pot advocate enters B.C. NDP leadership race

The Globe and Mail

Former federal NDP candidate Dana Larsen, who resigned in the middle of an election campaign following publicity about his marijuana use, announced Wednesday he intends to run for the leadership of the B.C. NDP.

At a news conference at a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Vancouver’s West End, Mr. Larsen, 39, said he will be looking for support for his leadership bid from NDP members across the province, especially from those who support, legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana. “I believe I offer a fresh vision, a real alternative choice in this leadership race,” he told reporters.

He stepped down as the NDP candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast in the September 2008 federal election campaign after online videos surfaced showing him smoking marijuana and using the hallucinogenic drug LSD.

Mr. Larsen told reporters that he had quit the federal campaign because he did not want to distract attention from the campaign of federal NDP leader Jack Layton. He did not think that running in a leadership race for a provincial party would be a problem, he told reporters Wednesday.

– Read more at The Globe and Mail.

Marijuana activist Dana Larsen says he can become leader of the NDP

Winnipeg Free Press

VANCOUVER – Marijuana activist Dana Larsen says he’s finished with being a single-issue politician and has plans to lead British Columbia New Democrats.

Larsen is the first candidate to announce intentions to run for the leadership of the NDP since Carole James stepped down earlier this month.

And if he’s elected as premier, Larsen says he would legalize marijuana and other drugs, raise the minimum wage to $10 and reverse the privatization of BC Rail and BC Ferries.

– Read more at Winnipeg Free Press.

Dana Larsen running for BC NDP leadership

News 1130

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The BC NDP has its first official leadership candidate. But will the party want him?

Dana Larsen is in the provincial run after being forced to quit a federal campaign two years ago because of a series of YouTube videos showing him smoking large quantities of weed. But Larsen doesn’t think that will affect the amount of support he gets from other party members.

He says he quit over the videos to avoid detracting attention from Jack Layton’s campaign. “Those videos in question were produced over 10 years ago. I did those for Pot-TV. I’m not particularly ashamed of the things that were shown in those videos.”

– Read more at News1130.