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

Just Posted

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

CRD committee proposes ending livestock payouts to farmers

The bylaw has existed since the creation of the CRD’s animal control service in 1979

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read