Victoria high about cannabis: UBCM votes yes to regulation

High event turnout and Union of BC Municipalities vote proves that, for cannabis supporters, the movement has arrived

Dana Larsen

High event turnout and Union of B.C. Municipalities support proves that, for cannabis supporters, the movement has arrived

Great news for cannabis supporters: your movement is here.

Over 500 people filled Victoria’s Alix Goolden Hall Monday night, Sept. 24, to be part of a community discussion on “A Sensible Cannabis Policy For B.C.”

But while five rousing speakers drew cheers and even standing ovations from the audience, the biggest news came from one group named Sensible BC that is proposing a question be put on the ballot in the next provincial referendum in September 2014, asking voters whether or not they want the Government of Canada to allow the provincial regulation of cannabis.

Though the wording of the question is still being approved by Elections BC, enthusiasts are calling this movement similar to the anti-HST campaign — but with even more support.

“People are calling me the Bill Vander Zalm of marijuana,” Dana Larsen, cannabis advocate and Sensible BC founder, told the crowd. “We are perfectly positioned in B.C. right now to create this change. Cannabis prohibition causes far more harm than marijuana itself ever could, and we are seeing more support for this movement than there was for ending the HST … Stephen Harper doesn’t always get what he wants.”

The group will need to collect approximately 400,000 signatures to get the question on the ballot, and has already begun to solicit help with leg work to get the petition in the hands of voters. At Monday night’s event, seniors, adults and even high school students rose to the mic to ask how they could assist.

And, in a historic move on Wed., Sept. 26, the Union of BC Municipalities voted in favour of a resolution to take a province-wide stance that supports the decriminalization, regulation and taxation of cannabis.

“With cannabis reform polling at 70 per cent, and with the kind of turnout we saw [Monday] night, I think politicians at all levels would do well to pay attention to the voters of B.C. right now,” says Philippe Lucas of the Centre for Addictions Research of B.C., who organized the event. “We live in a society that will judge you for speaking out about drug laws … but there is no single law in B.C. right now that, if reformed, could change so many factors.”

For those who missed the event, a recorded version of the discussion is posted in its entirety at the SensibleBC.ca website. M

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

Just Posted

Alberni Valley residents vent anger over proposed Beaver Creek cannabis project

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District grapples with limited authority to restrict operations

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

B.C. NDP’s throne speech speaks of benefits to B.C., says MLA Scott Fraser

Fraser agrees to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over pipeline

Port Alberni’s Old Puckers playing for BC Children’s Hospital

CFOX’s hockey team will make the long trek to central Vancouver Island for the game

BIZ BEAT: Get a head start on spring cleaning in Port Alberni

Chris Fenton walks across a desert to raise funds for ACAWS

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Nanaimo high school under lockdown after threats

Nanaimo RCMP say McGirr Elementary in hold-and-secure given proximity

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Most Read