Dana Larsen

Cannabis Crusader pitches police plan to Kitimat residents

Is Dana Larsen weeding out bad police policy in B.C. or will the whole plan just go up in smoke?

Is Dana Larsen weeding out bad police policy in B.C.?

He believes he is. The cannabis activist traveled through Northwest communities, promoting his plan to see a referendum in 2014 that would decriminalize cannabis possession.

Larsen was in Kitimat on Nov. 8 at the library to explain his position.

The self-described Cannabis Crusader said his ultimate plan is to implement what he calls the Sensible Policing Act in B.C., the way to get possession decriminalized.

Because the Drugs and Substance Act is under federal jurisdiction, B.C. doesn’t have the power to make the substance outright legal, but the province does have the power to decide how to direct their enforcement of the law.

“It would basically instruct all the police in B.C. to leave people alone when it comes to simple possession,” said Larsen to the Sentinel by phone before his Kitimat appearance.

It’s not a far-out idea; he said in 2003 B.C., along with other provinces, decided to refuse to enforce the long-gun registry. He said he and his supporters are looking for a similar directive for cannabis.

There are a lot of problems with the system right now, he said, where people can get busted for possession. He said enforcement has done nothing to curb cannabis use, consumption of which has risen over the past 10 years he said. He also believes it’s wasteful of police resources, with a justice system already pushed to the limits.

He also said that recent opinion polls show a majority of people in the province support not charging people for possession or use.

“I would say the harm to somebody from getting charged and getting convicted for cannabis possession is greater than any potential harm from using cannabis itself,” he said.

That harm includes difficulty finding work, participating in society or travelling out of country.

Larsen’s tour concluded on Nov. 16 in 100 Mile House but he said they will begin travelling again in March and meeting with the supporters they gathered on this trip.

This will lead to, he hopes, a 2014 referendum to support the Sensible Policing Act.

“It’s a big hill we have to climb,” he said, but he remains emboldened thanks to the example of the people who successfully lobbied for a referendum on the HST.

“Polls show we have a wider base of support…than they did to get rid of the HST,” he added. “I’m feeling optimistic about the possibility for actual legislative change.”

You can read more about the plan at their website, sensiblebc.ca.

Just Posted

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Stellar musicians, performers recognized at 54th Pacific Northwest Music Festival

More than 150 awards, scholarships given out to Northwest B.C. participants

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read