CANADA: Sensible BC‘s Dec. 5 deadline is rapidly approaching and the number of signatures collected this month in the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky riding — as well as the rest of the province — has been very encouraging for the campaign’s organizers.
“There’s been tremendous momentum,” said Mark Vaughan, lead organizer for the riding.
“It took a while to get information out there to get enough canvassers. A lot of people signed up early then they were out of town or were unable to be contacted for numerous reasons. There was a lot of chasing down non-existent leads early on. Now, as we get more events happening, more people are aware and every day I’m getting a list of 70 to 80 new canvassers in B.C. We’ll probably see more signatures in this last month than we’ve seen to date.”
In order to call a public referendum next year on decriminalizing marijuana, 10 per cent of all registered voters in each of B.C’s 85 provincial electoral districts must sign Sensible BC’s petition within a 90 day period, which began on Sept. 9. This was the same method used to have the Harmonized Sales Tax repealed in 2011.
Vaughan said there have been an overwhelming number of signatures collected in Squamish, describing the response as “pot fire.”
Whistler has faced challenges in reaching locals that are registered to vote in B.C., though the word is spreading. Local smoke shop Hempire has the petition set up in-store, allowing supporters to come in and sign it at their convenience. Pemberton, while having a few canvassers registered, is still lacking a leader to organize petition stations effectively.