Pubdate: Thu, 22 Aug 2013
Source: Alberni Valley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Alberni Valley Times
Author: Julie Bertrand
Cited: Sensible BC:


Sensible B.C. director and marijuana activist Dana Larsen will be in 
Port Alberni this Friday to meet up with supporters and find campaign 

Larsen is touring Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast to rally up 
support for his Sensible Policing Act, which would decriminalize 
marijuana by stopping B.C. police from doing searches or making 
arrests for simple possession.

His proposed legislation has been accepted by Elections B.C., and 
Larsen will have 90 days to collect signatures this fall for a future 
referendum on his Sensible Policy Act.

Starting on Sept. 9, Sensible B.C. will canvass the province to 
collect signatures from 10 per cent of the registered voters in every 
electoral district.

"We need volunteers and canvassers in every community," Larsen said. 
"My goal is to meet local supporters and register them as canvassers 
so they can collect signatures this fall."

Local Sensible B.C. riding organizer Kim Blake explained that should 
the group succeed in collecting 400,000 signatures between September 
and December, the referendum would be held in the fall of 2014.

"We would love to have canvassers [for the Alberni-Pacific Rim 
riding]," she said. "If anybody wants to help me, they should contact me."

Local cannabis consultant and political activist Mik Mann is also 
involved with the Sensible B.C. campaign.

"[Larsen's proposed legislation] makes perfect sense," he said.

Mann added he believed decriminalizing marijuana possession would 
save the province millions of dollars in court and police costs.

The money could be used instead to bring back programs that were 
cancelled by the government or to make the health care system better.

"It would all be possible if we didn't have the police chase people 
for simple possession of marijuana," he said.

Despite the province's reputation as liberal regarding marijuana 
consumption, Mann noted B.C. has the country's highest rate of police 
reported incidents for simple possession of marijuana.

According to the Sensible B.C. website, B.C. police detachments 
investigated more than 19,000 incidents of marijuana possession in 
2010, a rate of 420 incidents per 100,000 people. The national 
average is just 220 per 100,000.

Ontario has a rate of 165, and Alberta has 195.

"Most people are shocked to find that," Mann said.

To get involved with the Sensible B.C. campaign, visit its website at To contact Kim Blake, phone 250-724-9700.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom