One of the province’s top advocates for marijuana reform has endorsed Gregor Robertson for mayor and the entire Vision Vancouver slate for city council.
“Robertson and Vision have been most consistent in their support for legalization, they've followed a prudent course on cannabis dispensaries, and they have sensibly made possession a low priority for the VPD,” said Dana Larsen quoted in a November 10 media release. “We'd like to see Vancouver continue on its current path.”
The Sensible B.C campaign director is best known for leading a signature drive through 2013 that aimed to trigger a referendum on the question of decriminalizing recreational marijuana in B.C. It failed after garnering just over half of a the 400,000 signatures required from across the province.
“Our mandate is to support the candidates who are the most supportive of marijuana reform and who have the best chance of winning,” Larsen said. “Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver meet both those criteria.”
The election is scheduled for November 15. Advanced polling stations are accepting votes now.
In addition to Roberston, the candidates Larsen endorsed for council are Heather Deal, Kerry Jang, Raymond Louie, Geoff Meggs, Andrea Reimer, Niki Sharma, Tim Stevens, and Tony Tang.
There are 10 seats on Vancouver city council. To fill the two remaining seats, Sensible B.C. also endorsed Green candidate Adrianne Carr and COPE’s Sid Chow Tan.
“Carr has been a longstanding proponent of legalization and has supported tolerance towards cannabis dispensaries while on council,” the Sensible B.C. release states. “Tan is probably the most pro-cannabis candidate for council of any party, and has called on all residents of Vancouver to grow eight cannabis plants at home.”
The only major political party for which Sensible B.C. expressed no support is the NPA.
On October 22, the Straight reported that NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe proposed introducing a class of business licence specifically for dispensaries.
“We would make sure that there is a good licensing process to determine how dispensaries ought to be overseen by the city, and set what are their conditions,” LaPointe said.
That article noted there were very few differences between any of the mayoral candidates’ plans for medicinal marijuana storefronts, of which there are 46 in Vancouver.