Pubdate: Fri, 23 Aug 2013
Source: South Delta Leader (Delta, CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 South Delta Leader
Author: Kristine Salzmann
Cited: Sensible BC:


The movement to decriminalize marijuana possession is underfoot - and
up high. Two billboards promoting the Sensible BC campaign are now
running on Highway 99 by the Massey Tunnel, with a third on Highway 91
by the Alex Fraser Bridge.

The billboards ask those driving by to join the Sensible BC marijuana
referendum campaign and direct them to the group's website

The movement aims to collect enough signatures to launch a referendum
on how pot possession is policed in B.C. The group must gather
signatures from 10 per cent of registered voters in each of the
province's electoral districts within a 90 day period, which starts in
little over two weeks on Sept. 9.

"Right now our main focus is to register as many canvassers as
possible all around the province," Sensible BC founder and director
Dana Larsen said in a media release, adding they have currently
registered 1,000 canvassers with a goal of 5,000.

Larsen recently returned from touring towns in B.C.'s northern
interior and was on Vancouver Island when reached by phone earlier
this week. He said he will host a series of events in the Lower
Mainland soon, including South Delta, but didn't have a schedule just

Sgt. Ciaran Feenan said the Delta Police Department does not have an
official position on the movement and the group's proposed Sensible
Policing Act, which hopes to amend the BC Police Act to decriminalize
the simple possession of cannabis in B.C. and eventually work toward
legal regulation.

"Essentially, we have to enforce the laws that are currently in place,
and that would be our role," Feenan said. "Whether it be provincial or
federal our mandate is to enforce those laws, and so in terms of a
position relative to the Sensible Policing Act, we don't have one."

On Tuesday (Aug. 20), the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
proposed giving police the option of handing out tickets for the
illegal possession of marijuana opposed to laying criminal charges.

"The CACP is not in support of decriminalization or legalization of
cannabis in Canada," the CACP said in a release. "It must be
recognized, however, that under the current legislation the only
enforcement option for police when confronted with simple possession
of cannabis, is either to turn a blind eye or lay charges. The latter
ensues a lengthy and difficult process which, if proven guilty,
results in a criminal conviction and criminal record."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt