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REPORTING · 15th August 2013
Walter McFarlane
Dana Larsen, Director of Sensible BC was in Kitimat on Tuesday, August 13th to recruit people as canvassers to collect signatures for a Marijuana Referendum. He came down from Terrace where he was recruiting earlier that day and is traveling all around British Columbia.

“This is a part of a tour we’re doing all around the province to build support and awareness for the sensible BC Campaign for a Marijuana Referendum. We’ve written a law that we want to get onto the ballot so we can vote on it as the people of British Columbia. To get on the ballot, we need to collect signatures from 10% of the voters in every electoral district in the province. There are 85 electoral districts, the total number of signatures we need comes to around 400,000 people or so,” said Larsen.

They have 90 days to collect the signatures starting from September 9th. They are getting people to register as canvassers.

Why decriminalize marijuana?

“We chose to focus on decriminalization because it’s something the province of British Columbia can do. I and many others would like to see marijuana fully legalized so there is a regulated way to grow it or buy it in the store if they choose. British Columbia can’t do all that as a province right now. What we can do is decriminalize and telling the police to make marijuana possession their absolute lowest priority, not spend any more money on searching or arresting anybody for marijuana possession,” said Larsen.

He expressed marijuana possession charges have more than doubled over the past 6 years in BC and across Canada. With the current policy, the country is wasting money, $10.5 million is wasted to detain and charge marijuana users while missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue which could be made with a legally regulated marijuana industries.

“Really, our current policies are criminalizing people who shouldn’t be criminalized, we are giving criminal records for youth with possession that will dog them for the rest of their lives and it’s the wrong approach. Marijuana is safer than alcohol,” said Larsen.

He expressed this is a chance for people to get in on a historic campaign. If you missed your opportunity to become a canvasser, go online to http://sensiblebc.ca/canvas/ and learn more.