Dana Larsen is touring the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island to promote the Sensible BC decriminalization campaign.
Larsen, former candidate for the leadership of the B.C. NDP, is on tour to promote the Sensible Policing Act, which would effectively decriminalize cannabis possession in the province.
Larsen will be speaking at the Roberts Creek Hall on Friday, Jan. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m.
“The Sensible Policing Act directs all police in B.C. to stop spending any time or resources on searching, seizing or arresting anyone for simple cannabis possession,” Larsen said. “The lawyers at Elections BC have confirmed that this legislation is within provincial jurisdiction and suitable for a referendum.”
Larsen is leading the Sensible BC campaign to have a referendum on the Sensible Policing Act, putting volunteers in place to collect the official signatures needed from September to November of 2013. He’s been on tour to over three dozen cities and towns since October.
“There’s no reason we cannot decriminalize possession in our province,” he said. “In 2003, B.C. joined seven other provinces in refusing to enforce the Long Gun Registry. At that time, attorneys general said they didn’t want to bother with otherwise law-abiding citizens who were in possession of an unregistered long gun. We’re asking for the same sensible perspective when it comes to people in possession of cannabis.”
The recent votes to legalize cannabis in the U.S. states of Washington and Colorado has given the Sensible BC campaign a solid boost, he said.
“Across Washington, thousands of charges for simple possession are being dropped, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and unclogging the justice system. Yet here in B.C. we’re seeing possession charges skyrocket,” Larsen said. “If trends continue, 2013 will be another record-breaking year, with over 4,000 pot possession charges being laid across B.C. It’s time for a more sensible approach.”