Sensible BC’s 90-day marijuana legalization drive begins

A 90-day countdown began Monday for a petition drive to force the effective legalization of simple possession of marijuana in B.C.

Dana Larsen is hoping to stop prosecution of people for simple marijuana possession.

A 90-day countdown began Monday for a petition drive to force the effective legalization of simple possession of marijuana in B.C.

Volunteers for Sensible B.C., led by long-time drug legalization advocate Dana Larsen, have until Dec. 5 to collect more than 400,000 signatures. Using the same law that forced repeal of the harmonized sales tax, the petition to trigger a province-wide referendum needs support from 10 per cent of registered voters in each of B.C.’s 85 electoral districts.

Larsen has proposed that B.C. go around the federal prohibition with a “Sensible Policing Act” that would disallow the use of B.C. police resources to prosecute simple possession of small amounts of pot by adults.

Marijuana possession cases still account for 60 per cent of drug violation reports to police in B.C., according to Statistics Canada figures from 2012. But the number of cases declined 10 per cent from 2011.

There were 25,432 police-reported incidents of all types of drug offences in B.C. last year, a 7.4 per cent decline from 2011. Marijuana trafficking cases declined more than 20 per cent to 1,006 incidents, and importation and exportation of marijuana declined by 40 per cent.

Marijuana growing cases declined 4.6 per cent, following a 28.6 per cent drop in 2011.

The petition follows a proposal by police chiefs across Canada to make simple possession of marijuana a ticket offence, to keep minor cases out of court. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government would consider the change, but it remains opposed to any decriminalization or legalization.


Just Posted

2.5 years in Penticton courthouse over neighbour assault ends

Man pleaded guilty, withdrew, stood trial, pleaded guilty to assault described by Crown as ‘vicious’

Country star takes a dip for charity

Brett Kissel went for a dip in Okanagan Lake while in Penticton to raise money for Her International

Pursuit of Excellence defeats OHA in female prep hockey final

Okanagan Hockey Academy lost to Pursuit of Excellence 6-3 at the CSSHL final in Penticton

Oliver holds onto Wine Capital of Canada designation

It might be hard to swallow for other communities but Oliver remains Wine Capital of Canada

Carmi students start their day with Olympic inspiration

Brent Hayden, 2012 swimming bronze medalist, waded through Penticton and Summerland schools

What’s happening

Find out what events are taking place this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read