Marijuana candidate withdraws as party struggles to find relevance

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A Marijuana Party candidate has been forced to put out his election hopes, at least for now.

The ballot has been finalized for the Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding ahead of this month’s federal election, and Brynn Jones’s name is no longer on it.

“I am saddened to announce I have to step out of election due to an unforeseen family issue,” Jones told Vernon Morning Star. “I will continue to fight for my constituents in my riding and across Canada and will continue my duties as West Canada Director for the party.”

As nominations came to a close this week, Brynn said he realized that his personal schedule would make campaigning difficult, if not impossible.

On his Facebook page, Jones said he has been fighting for the rights of recreational and medical cannabis users in Okanagan for years. He blames current supply shortages on “over regulation, poor planning and a lack of education.”

The Marijuana Party, which was founded in 2000, has struggled to find relevance recently. When recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada last year, the party lost its main policy plank and key avenue for fundraising. It received just .01 per cent of the popular vote in the last federal election.

“We run our party on a broken shoestring budget and it’s more and more broken and shorter and shorter all the time,” federal leader Bill Longley told Huffington Post. “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep it registered, because it’s trying to do something with nothing.

“We are totally insignificant.”

The federal election will be held on Oct. 21.

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