Sensible B.C. says its drive to decriminalize marijuana is off to a strong start

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Day one of Sensible B.C.’s campaign to decriminalize marijuana in British Columbia is just about a wrap and Dana Larsen is calling it a success.

      “It’s been a media bonanza,” the campaign’s lead spokesperson told the Straight. “I’ve probably done over 20 interviews so far and we launched our Cannabus, which is sitting across the street collecting signatures in the West End right now. It’s been a great first day today.”

      The province’s chief electoral officer has already accepted a bill drafted by Sensible B.C. that provides for the decriminalization of marijuana via an amendment of the Police Act. Now the group has 90 days to collect the signatures of 10 percent of registered voters in each of the province’s 85 constituencies. If Sensible B.C. can get those estimated 400,000 signatures, the bill goes to a legislative committee, from where members can put the bill on a referendum, which would take place on September 27, 2014.

      Larsen said Sensible B.C.’s plan for the first couple weeks of the signature drive is to knock a few of the easier constituencies off the list. Downtown Vancouver’s West End, for example, as well as areas in B.C.’s interior, north, and Vancouver Island.

      “It’s the Lower Mainland where we still need to bring on more canvassers,” he noted. “We just have so many districts here and such a high level of population in Vancouver, Surrey, and Coquitlam, that we need a lot of canvasser to get involved. But overall, we’ve already laid a really strong foundation for the next 90 days.”

      Larsen conceded that it’s likely going to be a challenge for Sensible B.C. to collect the signatures it needs to get its bill in front of a legislative committee.

      “I’m very confident that if we can get the signatures, we will win the referendum,” he said. “It’s the logistics that are a challenge. Regardless of how much support we have, it’s a matter of getting people on the street, getting boots on the ground, and getting everybody involved. I know there’s support; it’s translating that support into action.”

      But Larsen expressed optimism, noting that 1,700 people have volunteered to help collect signatures and that that number is continues to grow.

      “Day one’s down and we’ve got 89 to go,” he said.

      You can follow Travis Lupick on Twitter at




      Sep 9, 2013 at 5:08pm

      So 10% of the population by constituency is the winning number? Roughly speaking there has always been 10% pro pot in the entire country. How many criminals and how does that rate to the population in Canada?
      Still I see where fines would be better then incarceration were they get to live off the taxpayer and lawyers supplied again by the taxpayer. Pot and welfare go together. Watch them wander the streets without a care in the world. Mr/Mrs Canadian taxpayer is always looking after them. Now I have lost all hope of getting rid of them. Except maybe.............?


      Sep 10, 2013 at 11:58am

      Sure am tired of you moralists trying to run my life...(one who leads a moral life or is concerned with regulating the morals of others)

      Westcoast guy

      Sep 10, 2013 at 1:18pm

      I see this as not just sensible policing and Evin less about smoking pot. Its about progressive thinking and changing times. Historically those who could not adapt to change went extinct. I hope this movement is successful. But if it isn't it wont be the end only the biggest step in the last decade Those voices who are unable to change will fade away in time. Many already have.

      corina heuft

      Sep 10, 2013 at 1:24pm

      Want to know how I can canvas in surrey b.c

      Also a taxpayer

      Sep 10, 2013 at 2:15pm

      I pay taxes an am a hard worker with a good paying job most people on welfare can barely afford groceries so how exactly is it that it goes hand in hand with welfare pot is expensive your disillusioned if you think poor people are the only ones smoking pot judges smoke pot lawyers , mayors, doctors ,teachers, welders,all facets of society have people who use cannibus responsibly and don't deserve to be treated as criminals.


      Sep 10, 2013 at 3:56pm

      Like it, don't like it, no matter how you look at it the war on drugs is lost. We have gang wars as a part of daily life and no regulation. We are living in Al Capones days of prohibition. Not decriminalizing marijuana will continue to ensure that the illegal activity and wasted tax money will continue indefinitely.


      Sep 10, 2013 at 6:29pm

      Lets do this!


      Sep 10, 2013 at 7:48pm

      10% of eligible voters signing a petition is required to force a referendum. The referendum requires 50% of voters whom show up to pass.


      Sep 11, 2013 at 1:50am

      Get a job you dirty hippies!!!!!