Sensible BC campaign tour blazes way through Williams Lake

A small but engaged group of various ages discussed Sensible BC’s campaign for a marijuana referendum with director Dana Larsen Thursday.

  • Aug. 12, 2013 1:00 p.m.

Tara Sprickerhoff

Tribune Staff Writer

Seated around a table in the Boston Pizza downstairs, a small but engaged group of various ages discussed Sensible BC’s campaign for a marijuana referendum with director Dana Larsen last Thursday, Aug. 8.

Larsen is currently undergoing a whirlwind tour of B.C., with plans to visit 32 Interior towns in 10 days, in hopes of promoting the campaign for a marijuana referendum and signing up canvassers to collect signatures come fall.

Williams Lake was Larsen’s eighth stop of the tour, and he said he has been pleased with the turnout so far.

“We’re talking to groups like this, not huge crowds. As long as we can get a few good people in each town, a good base in each district then we’ll be alright,” he said, adding that he hopes to get around 50 canvassers from each voting district in the province.

Starting on Sept. 9, Sensible BC will be collecting signatures from registered voters from across the province for 90 days, in an effort to put their Sensible Policing Act to referendum.

If they can collect signatures from 10 per cent of registered voters in every electoral district in B.C. the act could be put to referendum in 2014.

Only people who have signed up before Sept. 9 are authorized to collect signatures, however, so Larsen is carrying the Elections BC forms with him during his tour around B.C. and says they are also available to fill out online.

The Sensible Policing Act aims to effectively decriminalize marijuana by directing police to stop enforcing marijuana possession laws.

It would mandate that “no time or resources are to be spent searching or arresting anybody for marijuana possession,” said Larsen, adding that this is already mostly the case in Vancouver, but that the rest of B.C. has seen a bigger focus on the enforcement of marijuana possession laws in recent years.

The legislation also calls upon the federal government to repeal marijuana prohibition, so that B.C. can legally regulate its cultivation and sale.

In a poll done earlier this year by Strategic Communications, Sensible BC found that 70 per cent of British Columbians supported the Sensible Policing Act.

“We found that in every demographic group there was majority support for our legislation,” Larsen said. “Even with conservatives. In every age group, younger people, older people, everybody that we could find, there was majority support for our legislation, so it’s time for these laws to come into place.”

“People are often surprised at who supports it, and people who are worried or afraid of getting involved in our campaign are often pleasantly surprised at the support they get,” he added.

At this point, Larsen says he is “not looking to change minds,” about pot reform, but rather “looking to motivate people who want to see this change happen.”

Those interested in canvassing for Sensible BC can contact local volunteer co-ordinator Amy Carruthers at or find out more information at


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

Just Posted

Maggie Ferguson continues to deliver pet food to communities in B.C’s Central Interior and North. She hopes to make things easier by eventually purchasing a truck and trailer through fundraising efforts. (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo)
From Delta with love, Maggie Ferguson helps northern pet owners with food

Animal sanctuary owner leads efforts in delivering thousands of pounds of pet food

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read