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.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Upwards of 200 people take part in first 150 Mile Elementary Family Ice Fishing Derby

“The public support was more than we could have imagined,” she said.

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Busy end of the week for the lakecity

The Chilcotin Road’s 9th Annual Ladies Night is this Friday along with a handful of concerts

Mother Sun performing live at arts centre Friday night

A psychedelic sound fresh from Kamloops will make its lakecity debut on Friday, Feb. 21

UPDATE: One dead after multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on Highway 97

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

Sweetheart Cup Co-ed Soccer Tournament loved by all participants

Two Goals wins thriller in final over Victorious Secret

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read