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 website. M

Just Posted

Edibles sidelined in proposed amendments to Cannabis Act

Health Canada says edible regulation is still more than a year away

Stolen East Sooke puppies returned

Plight of other Sooke Region animals good and bad

North Saanich park doesn’t make the high priority cut

District finalizes its Strategic Plan, a list of municipal priorities

It’s complicated: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps breaks up with Facebook

“I’m quitting Facebook so I stop contributing in any way to this cycle of psychological violence where fear and anger get more air time than joy”

New leader aims to grow Oak Bay Volunteer Services

About 200 volunteers offer about 500 residents with support services

Mainroad crews cleaning up after winter

Motorists warned to be on the lookout for roadside workers

Lower water pressure, discolouration expected Friday in Gorge-Tillicum area

McKenzie interchange work could affect water for up to a week

The most “Victoria” way to watch baseball?

HarbourCats fans can now watch games from double-decker buses

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Mount Washington skier defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Most Read