A call for a referendum on marijuana laws

Laws against marijuana do more harm than the drug itself, says proponent

Dana Larsen to speak at Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Dana Larsen to speak at Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Allan Boisvert doesn’t think a person caught smoking a joint should have it dog them for the rest of their lives.

Because of this, the Parksville resident and marijuana activist is organizing two public forums on the marijuana issue, featuring former NDP leadership contender and decriminalization promoter Dana Larsen.

The first of these is slated to be held at the Qualicum Beach Library on Friday, Dec. 7, from noon to 1 p.m., with a second event at the Parksville Civic Centre from 7 – 9 p.m.

The subject of the talk, Boisvert said, will be an impending provincial referendum on marijuana decriminalization.

“This is not just for people who want to decriminalize marijuana,” he said. “This is for all the people in the province who vote.”

The referendum, he said, will not seek outright legalization or even complete decriminalization. Rather, he said, it will seek to amend the Police Act.

“We want to put cannabis enforcement as the lowest priority,” he said. “It’s not decriminalization in the sense that if you are caught you get a monetary fine. It’s decriminalization in the sense that police procedures and priorities would put it to the lowest end of the scale, so there would be no fines.” Boisvert said the idea has merit in several areas.

“The drug laws do far more harm than the drugs themselves,” he said. “If you catch some poor kid smoking pot, it follows him for the rest of his life. Why do that? Tens of thousands of Canadians are already in that boat. They can’t travel across the border.”

Besides taking away the criminal sanction for possessing and using small amounts of marijuana, Boisvert said the move would also take away a crucial source of funding for criminal gangs.

“This is just the groundwork for the vote, which probably won’t happen for another two years,” he said. “It’s not a scary thing. It’s really a pretty sensible policy. The way it is now, the only ones making money are the criminals. All the profits go to them.”

The meetings come after federal Liberal heavyweight Justin Trudeau came out in favour of decriminalization and a group calling itself Stop the Violence B.C. —made up of former attorneys general, mayors and other high-profile figures —  issued a call for cannabis use to be decriminalized in the province.

 

“It’s the sensible thing to do. For adults, it would be taxed and regulated, while the penalties for minors would be the same as if they were caught using alcohol under-age.”

 

 

Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read