Chad Levesque

Petition out for marijuana reform

Ten per cent of British Columbia residents need to sign petition

The first thing Chad Levesque wants you to know is that if you sign the petition to decriminalize cannabis, it doesn’t mean you are a pot smoker or a druggie. What it does mean is you support changing the law in British Columbia to make pot possession a ticketable offence rather than a criminal offence.

It doesn’t mean teens and youth will have easy access to marijuana and it doesn’t mean anyone can be impaired by marijuana and get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

What it does mean is that police will not be spending time and resources on busting people for simple possession of marijuana. It essentially decriminalizes cannabis possession in B.C. It doesn’t legalize it. Sensible BC would like to see the province start on a path to a legally regulated system.

“It is a sensible police act we’re trying to get through,” said Levesque, a Sensible BC campaigner. “It’s the exact same thing as with the HST.”

What the petition needs to do is acquire the signatures of 10 per cent of the eligible voters in every riding in B.C. People who sign the petition need to be a registered voter by September 9 when the petitions will be out in the public.

Levesque said people who want to sign and are not registered voters can go on-line to Elections BC and register to vote.

Dana Larsen, Sensible BC Director, was in Sooke and Levesque saw him then and signed up to campaign and put out petitions.

“It’s something I wanted to do since I was pretty young, it’s an important issue,” he said. “Some people are really happy and thank me, others fear it. In Sooke, at least one-half the people I talked to are supportive. Just because you sign doesn’t label you as a pot smoker.”

Levesque said the reform, if it happens, means marijuana possession will be treated much the same as alcohol and minors will be treated the same. He does not support marijuana use by youth.

“It’s something I can do here in Sooke to be part of the large social change going on. I’m not afraid to go out in public and say “cannabis” or “marijuana” out loud. It’s about protecting people’s rights to live life as they choose,” said Levesque.

The petition will be available for signing at Stick in the Mud and perhaps another location as well.

For more information on the campaign to have a referendum on the Sensible Policing Act, go to: sensible bc.ca