Pubdate: Mon, 09 Dec 2013
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Ian Austin
Cited: Sensible BC:


He admits he's lost this pot battle, but Dana Larsen is still
convinced the decriminalize-marijuana war will be won in B.C.

For 90 days, Larsen and his Sensible B.C. canvassers have been asking
British Columbians to sign on to have marijuana laws put to a
referendum - and more than 200,000 have done so.

But it's back to the drawing board for the pro-marijuana crowd, as
even that hefty number fell short of the rigorous standard that only
the Fight HST campaign has attained here in B.C.

"We haven't given up on this," Larsen told The Province as he prepared
to present "somewhere between 200,000 and 220,000" names on a petition
to Elections B.C. on Monday - Day 90, the final day of the campaign.

"We've tripled our volunteer base during this campaign. We've created
a lot of momentum for the next time."

Larsen looks for inspiration to Washington, where pot is already legal
after a similar initiative.

"In Washington they didn't make it on the first try," he said. "It
used to be the argument against marijuana reform was retaliation from
the United States. Now you've got two of the most liberal
jurisdictions in the world in Colorado and Washington."

The Sensible B.C. campaign was bolstered by endorsements from
politicians and police officers, but B.C. law requires support in all
B.C. provincial ridings - a relatively easy task in big cities such as
Vancouver, a far more difficult hurdle in conservative areas such as
the Fraser Valley and the Interior.

"If we could shuffle the vote around, we're probably two-thirds of the
way there. We might get there with 300,000 names or so," said Larsen.
"To be safe, we probably need 400,000, so we're about halfway there."
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