Cannabis advocate Dana Larsen launches petition to garner support for 4/20 protest and festival

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      With less than two months before Vancouver's annual gigantic cannabis celebration, organizers once again don't have permission from the park board.

      But unlike in previous years, organizer Dana Larsen is marshalling public support in advance for the 4/20 event by encouraging local residents to sign a petition.

      It calls on park commissioners to grant the 4/20 protest festival a permit.

      "This will be our 24th year holding this event, and our third year at Sunset Beach," Larsen wrote to those who receive Sensible B.C. emails. "Every year, 4/20 grows in size and scope. It has become one of our city's biggest and most beloved public events."

      Last year, the Vancouver park board voted 4-3 to prohibit cannabis-related events on beaches and in parks, citing the antismoking bylaw as justification.

      Green park board chair Stuart Mackinnon sided with three NPA commissioners last year in supporting the ban.

      After the vote, Green councillor Adriane Carr tried without success to resolve the impasse by finding a different location for 4/20.

      Mackinnon's vote deeply troubled Larsen.

      "Our 4/20 permit application would have passed, if not for Green commissioner Stuart Mackinnon going rogue and voting against it!" Larsen wrote in commentary posted last year on

      Commissioners Catherine Evans and Michael Wiebe (seen at the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim) both supported last year's application for a 4/20 permit at Sunset Beach.
      Vancouver park board

      He pointed out last year that commissioners Catherine Evans, Michael Wiebe, and Erin Shum voted in favour of the 4/20 permit application.

      "Wiebe had actually put in considerable effort into developing a plan for 4/20, to keep the event contained on Sunset Beach and maximize access through the area for the local community," Larsen stated at the time. "But his plan was never heard or discussed, as the vote to ban 4/20 entirely took precedence."

      Larsen also stated in last year's commentary that he wasn't allowed to speak to the board on the night that the vote occurred.

      In his recent email, Larsen declared that with or without a permit, the 4/20 event will still be held on April 20 at Sunset Beach.

      He also predicted that this will be the biggest 4/20 gathering of all time.