The Sensible BC campaign to change how possession of small amounts of marijuana is dealt with by police is in full drive, trying to garner enough petition signatures for a province-wide referendum on the group’s proposed changes to the Policing Act to be held sometime next year.
The campaign to collect signatures began on Monday, September 9th. The campaign has no representatives between Canal Flats and Spillimacheen.
The group’s proposed Sensible Policing Act would be an amendment to the B.C. Police Act and would redirect police from using resources or time on matters related to simple possession of the drug.
The act would not change laws surrounding trafficking of, possession for purposes of trafficking or cultivation of marijuana, according to the group’s website.
The group calls this a first step to eventual decriminalization of the drug, and its proposed Sensible
Policing Act would also formally call on the federal government to remove marijuana from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act or give B.C. an exemption, so the province can start legally taxing and regulating the drug.
To get a province-wide referendum on the topic, the group has 90 days (starting this September) to collect on a petition the signatures of 10 per cent of registered voters in each of B.C.’s 85 electoral ridings (a total of 400,000 people).
The group’s website concedes this may be a difficult task, and it may be even more difficult for valley residents interested in the petition to actually sign it as there is as yet no representatives for the group in the valley.
The nearest organizer is Karen Wilson in Golden, according to the Sensible BC Columbia River -Revelstoke’s Facebook page.
What this means for valley residents interested in the petition is unclear as Ms. Wilson, Sensible B.C. Interior and North regional organizer Chad Moats and Vancouver-based group leader Dana Larsen all either could not be reached for comment or did not return calls or emails for comment last week.