November 13, 2013 - 8:14 AM
PENTICTON - Flu clinics and shopping malls might not be the first places a person thinks of when imagining where marijuana supporters like to hang but these spots helped a cannabis legalization petition reach 3,500 signatures.
And seniors have been the biggest supporters of legalization out of the thousands who have signed, Sensible B.C.'s Amanda Stewart said. Many seniors have said the marijuana laws should have been changed back in the 1970s.
Stewart co-ordinates the volunteers who collect signatures on street corners, community centres and malls in the Penticton and Boundary-Similkameen ridings. She said a thousand more signatures is needed from the Penticton riding and 6,000 votes would provide a nice buffer. Sensible B.C. needs 10 per cent of the province's eligible voter base or 400,000 signatures to trigger a referendum, according to Elections B.C. If this can be achieved by Dec. 5 there will be a referendum to essentially decriminalize marijuana possession in 2014.
Stewart's confident about nailing her numbers and said "more than one district (riding) exceeded their 10 per cent. And a lot of them are very close." More people are telling her volunteers they've already signed somewhere else.
Stewart explained there's nothing to stop a provincial party adding marijuana legalization in their next election agenda. It might be politically damaging if parties ignore a half-a-million people who sign the petition.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013