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

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson set to hit Rock the Shores stage

Other acts include Bahamas, Allen Stone and Bedouin Soundclash

Croatia loses in World Cup final, Victoria fans still jubilant

“We’re just a small little country, we only have 4.5 million people, and look how far we’ve come.”

Park ambassador pilot going well at Mount Doug

Dog poop bags, litter and cigarette butts among ongoing park issues

Victoria Police issue a public warning after a man was injured by a hidden syringe

Used syringes in discrete locations have caused injuries over the past year in Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Unique canvas for local artist

Haren Vakil brings joy and smiles to homeowners and passersby

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

5 things to do this weekend around Victoria

The sounds of summer Rock the Shores returns to the lower fields… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

B.C. Lions claw their way back to score 20-17 victory over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers, who beat the Lions 41-19 last week in Edmonton, fell to 2-3 with the loss

High winds, lack of rain suggest no breaks in sight for B.C. wildfire season

There were 11 new wildfires across the province over 24 hours, BC Wildfire Service officials say

How to sponsor a refugee, global refugee situation only worsening

‘U.S. is no longer a safe place for refugees,’ says local MP

Most Read