Larsen lands in Kitimat to garner support ahead of marijuana petition drive

Dana Larsen signed on two more people in Kitimat Tuesday to get the province to implement the proposed Sensible Policing Act.

Dana Larsen signed on two more people in Kitimat to be canvassers in an upcoming petition initiative to get the province to implement the proposed Sensible Policing Act.

That adds to the few who volunteered during his earlier visits to Kitimat last November.

Larsen is the one who has been dubbed himself the ‘cannabis crusader’ and is actively seeking a change to how marijuana laws are enforced in the province.

He met with prospective petition canvassers during a stop at Pedro’s Grill on Tuesday.

“I think there’s a lot of support for the idea,” said Larsen about the feeling in Kitimat. “Our challenge here and in some other areas are to make sure people know what’s going on.”

When Larsen spoke to the Sentinel last November, he said there are a number of problems with the current criminal system regarding marijuana.

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 in November.

Since then, Elections BC has approved in principle the petition initiative and canvassers will begin collecting signatures on September 9.

They’ll have 90 days to get 10 per cent of eligible voters’ signatures in each of the province’s electoral districts.

“About 50 [canvassers] in each electoral district would be good,” said Larsen in Kitimat on Tuesday. “If we can get five to ten people here collecting signatures here that would be enough, but the more the better.”

He said there are challenges to garnering support in rural areas, compared to urban areas.

“There’s a fear around getting involved in this issue which I find more prevalent in some of the more rural areas because the people who live here often work in an industry where they get drug tested and they feel even if they don’t use marijuana, they feel if they’re associated in our campaign they may be targeted or looked down upon in some way,” said Larsen.

The spread-out nature of northern communities also proves some logistical challenges.

But in his experience as a marijuana dispensary in the Lower Mainland, the plant provides a lot of medical benefit.

“Marijuana is fun, sure, but marijuana prohibition is extremely harmful and damaging,” he added. “It ruins a lot of lives.”

He said even non-marijuana users should recognize the policing policy is a failed on in B.C.

“Even if you believe marijuana can be harmful, certainly the policy should be to reduce those

Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read