Should BC decriminalize cannabis? Can it do so without the federal government? The answer to both of these questions, according to the Sensible BC campaign, is yes.
Though the province has no authority to change federal laws, setting policing priorities is within provincial jurisdiction. Sensible BC is proposing that B.C. adopt the sensible policing act, which, according to sensiblebc.ca, would “amend the Police Act, to redirect all police in the province from taking any action, including searches, seizures, citations or arrests, in cases of simple cannabis possession by adults. This would apply to all RCMP and municipal police in B.C.”
Using the same provincial referendum process that was used to repeal the HST, Sensible BC volunteers are working to pre-register supporters ahead of the official 90-day signature gathering period which will commence in September 2013. If the campaign is successful in gathering signatures from a minimum of 10 per cent of registered voters in each of the province’s 85 electoral districts during that period, a referendum on the adoption of the sensible policing act will be held in 2014.
Local volunteers for the Nelson-Creston district will be at Overwaitea Foods on April 21 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. providing information to the public and pre-registering supporters.
“You don’t have to be a cannabis user to support this initiative,” says local volunteer co-ordinator Marc Archambault. “This is about not making criminals out of responsible adults and not wasting public resources enforcing a prohibition that does nothing to make the province safer. There is a growing consensus among the public as well as academics, law enforcement and public health officials and political leaders that decriminalization makes sense.”
For more information, and to pre-register, those interested can visit the table at Overwaitea on Sunday or visit www.SensibleBC.ca. There are also Facebook pages for both Sensible BC and Sensible BC Nelson-Creston.