Zachary Canuel (left) with brother Michel

Sensible BC canvassers out in Kitimat

A Kitimat-raised man is coordinating the riding's effort to get signatures to the Sensible BC petition.

Canvassers for the Sensible BC campaign to decriminalize marijuana have to December 5 to get hundreds of thousands of signatures to spark a referendum vote.

In the Kitimat area, and surrounding electoral district, Zachary Canuel is the district coordinator, a Kitimat-raised young man who has seen the trouble criminalized marijuana can bring.

He said six years ago when he was 18, he was detained by police on suspicion of marijuana possession — no criminal charges followed — but that moment is what brought him out to fight for marijuana decriminalization today.

But one thing he wants people to know is the campaign isn’t about giving the people the ability to just get high.

“A lot of people don’t realize it has nothing to do with getting high, it’s about the fact that our expenditures in law enforcement have achieved nothing. Drugs are stronger, more accessible, cheaper than they’ve ever been,” he said.

And it’s not a path to free access to marijuana either. He said it needs to be sold carefully, such as liquor in designated liquor stores, and regulated similarly.

In fact alcohol itself is not even as safe as marijuana, he says.

“Alcohol is more dangerous than most of the illicit drugs that are out there.”

Kitimat, as well as Terrace and Smithers, has been a receptive community to the campaign, he said.

There’s only the occasional scowled face from people who pass by.

“It’s easy to shrug those people off when pretty much 90 per cent of the people I see are very supportive,” he said.

With a need for 15 per cent of the signatures of registered voters, he said they’re looking to gather 3,090 names in the Skeena riding.

Province-wide most campaigners are behind in hitting their milestones, while Canuel said he’s about half-way there locally.

“Being a little bit behind on the first half of the campaign, we’ve got to get things in gear,” he said. “I’m sure the Skeena area is doing a lot better than certain other parts of the province. I’m not too worried about our area.”

At the campaigns 30-day mark, Sensible BC spokesman Dana Larsen said the campaign had 65,000 signatures as of Oct. 9 – 15,000 less than their aim of 80,000 by the 30-day mark of the 90-day petition drive.

“We’re a little bit behind the target we set,” Larsen said, adding getting canvassers officially registered has proven more onerous than expected.

– With files from Jeff Nagel

Just Posted

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Kitimat commits itself to the global fight against polio

Mayor Phil Germuth signs a proclamation

$2 million landfill capping complete

The purpose is to minimize potential leaching of contaminants from the site.

Pipeline company urges rejection of many seeking intervener status in jurisdictional hearings

Those seeking to participate include District of Kitimat and Haisla Nation

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

Most Read