Marijuana activist Dana Larsen was at the CRD Library in Williams Lake on Nov. 15 speaking about the Sensible BC campaign to decriminalize cannabis.

Marijuana activist says it’s time to change the law

It is not about "if" but "how" the law should be changed said marijuana activist Dana Larsen while visiting Williams Lake last week.

It is not about “if” but “how” the law should be changed said well-known marijuana activist Dana Larsen while speaking at Cariboo Regional District library Nov. 15.

In Washington and Colorado, where votes were recently passed to legalize cannabis at the state level, the governors were against the laws and both said it shouldn’t be done, he explained.

“Now they are in the position of having to force and create a system that they actually campaigned against having in there in the first place.”

Larsen said B.C. is the only province with the ballot-initiative system, the only province where people can do the same thing as they do in many American states. People can sign up, get popular support, and impose a law upon the government, which it really has to pass.

“It is still a difficult hill to climb because you have to get 10 per cent of the registered voters in every one of the provinces 85 electoral districts to sign on to your ballot initiative in a three month period.”

Working with a lawyer, Larsen designed a law he thinks will work — the Sensible Policing Act.

The act would direct the police in B.C. to stop searching, seizing or arresting anybody for simple possession of cannabis.

“Provinces have jurisdiction over policing and the administration of criminal justice so even though this is a federal law and we cannot change that federal law as a province; the attorney general has the power and the responsibility to instruct the police on what their priorities should be, where they should focus their resources,” Larsen explained.

He used the long-gun registry as an example of how eight provinces said they were not going to enforce the long gun registry, adding: “provinces have a lot of power to make these changes.”

The second part of the act prohibits possession by minors in the same way as alcohol, while the

third part calls on the federal government to let B.C. tax and regulate cannabis.

“We have to bring this industry into the sunlight and regulate it so it’s safe for everyone involved. We would mandate the attorney general of B.C. to write the federal government to change the laws. Either remove cannabis from the Controlled Drug and Substances Act or just give B.C. an exemption.”

In addition, a provincial commission would determine the laws and rules around legal cannabis — selling, growing, age limits, exporting, and tax rates, the same things that occur around alcohol.

“We want the province to figure out all of this so that when the federal law changes we’re ready to implement something immediately.”

Larsen is gathering signatures in anticipation of a referendum in September 2014 and

over the next 10 months will continue to tour the province, returning to Williams Lake in the spring with a panel. In September 2013, SensibleBC will start the clock with Elections BC and refile a legislation.

“By then I hope to have 4,000 people registered all around the province, well over 10 per cent, with thousands of volunteers in place so that when we say “go” they will already know who the people are that said they will sign and they will go out and get those signatures.”

When the ballot is cast it will be the “happiest” ballot he’s ever cast in his life, Larsen said.

 

 

Just Posted

Fire claims two historic buildings in downtown Williams Lake

Several other businesses damaged by water used to fight the blaze

TRU hosts second round of public consultations

A dozen concerned lakecity locals came out to the Pioneer Complex to provide their feedback

Global Climate Strike and March a well-attended call to action

Generations of concerned citizens marched on city hall led by the youth of today

Update: Firefighters battle blaze in downtown Williams Lake

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Air quality back to low risk in Williams Lake after firefighters extinguish downtown building fires

Crews continue to clean up after fire destroyed two downtown businesses

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Most Read