04/07/2016 07:09 EDT | Updated 04/08/2017 05:12 EDT

Dana Larsen, Vancouver Pot Activist, Taken Into Custody After Seed Give-Away Rally

Dana Larsen was in Calgary Wednesday with his “Overgrow Canada” campaign.


CALGARY — Vancouver marijuana activist Dana Larsen has been taken away by Calgary police after a rally and pot seed give-away at a city hotel.

Larsen was in the city Wednesday with his “Overgrow Canada” campaign, for which he aims to hand out one million pot seeds to be planted in public places.

But after the rally, as angry supporters watched, officers escorted Larsen to a police car and Larsen told the crowd he and another man were being placed under arrest and his van was being confiscated.

Unclear if charges pending

Supporters chanted "Shame! Shame!" and Larsen invited others to come forward and ask to be arrested, though an officer told him: "We're not going to arrest anyone else."

Police issued a news release Wednesday night confirming that a man who had been distributing marijuana seeds at the rally had been arrested and charges were pending.

However, a duty inspector would not say whether or not the charges were pending against Larsen or the other man or both, saying nothing could be released until charges had been formally laid.

The police news release pointed out that under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, it is illegal to distribute marijuana in any form regardless of whether payment is provided.

About that legalization process

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana but has recently said the process may be more difficult than expected, and he is wanting to consult with the provinces before taking any action.

Larsen led B.C.’s unsuccessful bid at a marijuana referendum and has run a medicinal cannabis dispensary for seven years.

He served 10 years as editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine was a founding member of the B.C. Marijuana Party and the Canadian Marijuana Party.

In 2011, he ran for the leadership of the provincial NDP in B.C.

On the website for his "Overgrow Canada" campaign, he calls on "all freedom-loving Canadians to grow a cannabis victory garden this spring!" and promised to mail pot seeds to anyone willing to pay the $2.50 shipping cost.

"You must pledge to grow these seeds openly and freely, preferably on your own property," he said on the website. "I hope to see cannabis growing in front lawns, back yards, patios and windowsills all across Canada."

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