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

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      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.

      He said he will offer a "real alternative choice" in the leadership contest.

      Larsen is well-known as a vocal supporter of marijuana legalization. He helped found Cannabis Culture Magazine and the Vancouver Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary.

      In 2008, he stepped down as a candidate for the federal NDP in the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding when video footage surfaced of him taking LSD and smoking marijuana.

      The provincial NDP is set to select a successor for outgoing leader Carole James during a one-member, one-vote election on April 17.

      In early December, James announced she would be stepping down as provincial party leader after seven years in the role.

      Her decision came amid an increasingly public dispute among NDP MLAs over her leadership.

      Other potential leadership candidates have also recently emerged. They include B.C. NDP MLAs Adrian Dix, Mike Farnworth, and Bruce Ralston, as well as B.C. NDP MP Peter Julian.

      You can follow Stephen Thomson on Twitter at

      Dana Larsen announces his B.C. NDP leadership bid.



      Christy Clark Fan

      Dec 29, 2010 at 10:47am

      Thank you Dana for running. You bring energy and dynamism and idealism to a dying oppo party... I'm not sure though the ideas are what people want as much as a certain pair of political parties - one to win, one to believe.

      Kinda cryptic but I trust you'll figure it out.

      Bob Jones

      Dec 29, 2010 at 11:04am

      If this is Cheech who's gonna be Chong?


      Dec 29, 2010 at 11:08am

      Stephen, how long did it take you to come up with the headline for this story?

      Memories of 2008

      Dec 29, 2010 at 11:33am

      " ... the first protoplasm in the universe!"


      Dec 29, 2010 at 12:37pm

      "Let's rejuvenate the NDP with a leadership campaign," she said.

      I'm hard pressed to understand how this candidate would do better in a general election than Carole James.

      Jenny Kwan has a lot of explaining to do.


      Dec 29, 2010 at 12:45pm

      I wouldn't write Dana off, stranger things have happened. Just last week Pat Robertson came out of the (pot) closet. Considering the way Global and CTV have been attacking him all bloody morning, the fake left/right system seems like it might be a little afraid of him, hence the preemptive strike. Unlike Christy Clark, Mike Farnworth and The Falcon, he seems to actually say stuff while he talks. Which is why the TV isn't showing any footage of him talking, just smoking.

      Mentioning "sustainability, social justice" as part of his campaign's focus is going to cost him a lot of libertarian/conservative votes though. I'm not sure if progressives will go for him even with the open pandering, as progressives seem intent on solidifying themselves as corporate greenwashed undemocratic tax-loving nannystate prohibitionists.

      Lastly, enough with the "video footage surfaced of him taking LSD and smoking marijuana." nonsense. NOTHING 'SURFACED' it was on his weekly show Weedy Wednesday on Pot-TV. No secrets were involved, no one was trying to hide anything. It was on the same network where Jack Layton declared he supported recreational marijuana. So stop trying to make it look like he's got something to hide.


      Dec 29, 2010 at 1:13pm

      He doesn't have a chance in hell in getting the votes he'd need.


      Dec 29, 2010 at 1:22pm

      From what I heard you again already blew it???

      Please stop the stupidity of trying to address every drug instead of staying with what the majority of us condone and that is BC CANNABIS

      You will continue to kill our support by trying to represent the small group who wish to address all drugs

      I will run against you myself if this continues

      I say right here and right now that the issue should be addressed by so called leader candidates

      And this province has a unique situation because of how it entered "confederation" and can re-legalize and regulate cannabis tomorrow if it wishes

      As Trudeau said he would never re-legalize cannabis because those people can not be controlled .......

      Think about that ......the government could not control people

      This is the mind set you are fighting

      Adian Dix is a rabid prohibitionist and like Harmsworth

      We will get our harms worth out of him doubt

      I respect the fact that you are standing because some one should but if I hear one more story about opium or coca or LSD etc

      I tell you right now and here I WILL RUN AGAINST YOU MYSELF

      The ndp is not a head shop nor a pretend compassion club where you pimp pot like your fake hero emery

      Quit screwing and adding more stigma to what we already deal with

      This shouldn't be and is not about YOU !!!!!



      Dec 29, 2010 at 5:53pm

      I want the issue of BC Cannabis addressed once and for all in the BC NDP PERIOD
      I invested an awful lot of time and effort within them and watched their cowardice internally while they pandered for our support

      Their national leader wooed our votes and also showed he was actually yellow

      and based on United Nations reports BC has the highest concentration of cannabis using voters in the world

      Are they citizens with rights or not?
      Is alcohol "safer" or illegal??

      these are your kids and your taxes

      we are paramilitarizing a police force that kills people at airports

      I served in Canada's Armed Forces

      Am I to be just written off as garbage because I prefer my beer in a joint??

      What is the matter with some of you?

      The rest of all illegal drugs.....which are all sold and just called pharmacutical names any way and may be delivered differently but hey they are the same drugs...period
      And at some point we will decide to actually deal with that sanely as well

      But the issue of cannabis must right now stand alone first in the BCNDP

      We can not allow them to completely dismiss us and our rights by letting them say cannabis is the same as cocaine or heroin ...that is ridiculous and obviously I agree our present policies toward street prescribed hard drugs are totally wrong misguided and an a front to any sane person in my view by hey ...lots of money exploiting the weak do not forget

      Police officers cost on average $75,000 a year

      The delta fire man who grew and got caught with 350 plants walked away with house arrest for 5 months ..never lost his job that I know of and certainly not his house...apparently he did 38 waves or crops...then the lady in north van who lost her whole house over 55 plants one time with an MS patient neighbor

      Kids in 100 thousand dollar Hummers with hand guns every time the police have a photo op of inflated value drugs
      An innocent by stander shot dead on Boxing Day
      6 shot in a Surrey high rise
      For what???????

      I demands some one ...any of these so called leaders in this province to get it through their heads that this issue needs addressing !!

      The ndp will loose the next election to some party if they refuse to address re-legalizing and regulating cannabis in BC and they should either come out of the closet or give up any pretension they have cannabis as an issue

      Thank you for raising it

      Nunya Biznis

      Sep 13, 2012 at 10:43am

      The NDP will let ANYONE run for their party. I know one guy personally who ran in the last election. Zero credibility, education or experience. You want less than mediocre? Vote NDP!