It's official. Elections BC has issued petition sheets for an initiative to amend the Police Act.
The goal of the petitioners is to stop police from enforcing laws against possession and use of marijuana in B.C. - or at least to make it more difficult to prosecute against simple possession and use.
The petitioners, calling themselves Sensible BC, see it as a way to decriminalize marijuana in B.C. without having to go through a federal government that is decidedly antagonistic towards any
efforts to back off on its current drug laws.
They now have 90 days to make their case and collect supporting signatures from at least 10 per cent of registered voters,
including at least 10 per cent of registered voters in at least two thirds of the electoral districts in B.C. If they can do that, the government will be forced to seriously consider the proposal.
They've got a long row to hoe - and it's not just weed in that row.
Interestingly, there has been little vocal support from prominent proponents of ending the prohibition on marijuana. And perhaps with good reason. For one thing, many of the high-profile people who have come out against the legal status quo for marijuana do not support decriminalization. Many want pot legalized, regulated, and taxed - just like alcohol.
Even among those who favour decriminalization, with possession and use of small amounts of pot penalized through tickets and modest fines, there are few who want to do it the Sensible BC way, by effectively hamstringing police, whose efforts against more serious offenders - high-level traffickers, grow-operators, multi-drug purveyors, and the like - might also be hampered.
And then, of course, while they may be a technical minority in Canada these days, there are still plenty of people who simply won't sign any petition that allows freer use of marijuana or any drug.
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