Pot petition coming to Chilliwack

Dozens of Chilliwack canvassers are seeking local support for marijuana decriminalization as part of a provincial campaign.

A group of Chilliwack residents are preparing for a massive street campaign to gather signatures in support of marijuana decriminalization.

“I personally think we’re just misinformed…I don’t think it (marijuana’s) being illegal is justified,” said local volunteer coordinator Ceara Sinead Doyle.

About 40 Chilliwack volunteers have so far signed on to a provincial campaign to gather 400,000 signatures, representing 10 per cent of B.C. voters. This would trigger a provincial referendum in 2014 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The organizing group, Sensible B.C., wants the province to pass a so-called Sensible Policing Act, which will stop police from searching or arresting people in B.C. for small cases of possession. The group terms the amendment “sensible” because it would purportedly save police time and resources.

Doyle believes there is “definitely” a strong pro-decriminalization undercurrent in Chilliwack.

“I think that we’re coming to an understanding now. We’re not in the dark ages anymore. We have the internet. We can do our own research, instead of just believing the stuff you hear,” she said.

Doyle has witnessed the beneficial side of light marijuana use, such as when her grandmother used pills derived from the main chemical in cannabis to manage pain related to ovarian cancer.

Doyle is now looking for more volunteers to collect signatures in Chilliwack, and emphasizes that those interested need not necessarily go door-knocking.

“If they have a network of people that they know supporting it, then they could sign up as a canvasser and then just get their friends and family to sign. Because it helps a lot.”

In an effort to rally canvassers and supporters, the founder of Sensible B.C. is stopping in Chilliwack during his provincial tour. Dana Larsen will be at Evergreen Hall’s Minto Room (9291 Corbould Street) at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18.

Elections B.C. granted approval in principle for the petition drive.

Sensible B.C. is using the same voter initiative system that forced the repeal of the harmonized sales tax in B.C. The group will have 90 days starting Sept. 9 to collect signatures from 10 per cent of registered provincial voters in each of B.C.’s 85 electoral districts.

If that target is met, a province-wide vote would be held on the proposed law.

Individuals and groups have until Aug. 12 to register with Elections BC to oppose the initiative by advertising and collecting signatures against the initiative.

– with files from Tom Fletcher

akonevski@theprogress.com
twitter.com/alinakonevski

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack tulip attraction open this weekend after being closed last year due to COVID-19

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

Oregon spotted frog egg masses near Agassiz. (Fraser Valley Conservancy)
Jumping for joy over Oregon spotted frog discovery near Agassiz

Finding six egg masses could be step toward recovery of Canada’s most endangered amphibian

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Third outbreak declared at Chilliwack care home run by church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

Peter Scherle shared this 1958 photo of his father, then-Town Chairperson Paul Scherle (centre) speaking with Queen Elizabeth II with Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the background. Prince Philip passed away April 9 at the age of 99. (Photo/Peter Scherle)
PHOTOS: Hope residents remember Prince Philip, royal visits to Fraser Valley

Prince Phillip died at age 99 at Windsor Castle on April 9

Sold decals on real estate signs are commonplace in the red-hot Chilliwack real estate market (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Chilliwack homes getting offers the first day the for-sale sign goes up

The March report from the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board shows the market remains red-hot

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

Most Read