Penticton and South Okanagan
The dope on who supports referendum
Sep 18, 2013 / 3:00 pm
LockWorks Inc. on Penticton's Main Street is one of several city businesses showing their support for the Sensible BC campaign.
A sign posted out front states: "Sign here for a cannabis referendum, SensibleBC.CA." Inside, registered canvasser and store employee Kim Wall collects signatures during her breaks.
"I didn't want to go door to door," she said. "I wanted people to come to us and I thought having it at our business was good exposure."
The campaign is to have a referendum on the Sensible Policing Act, which will stop police from searching or arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for possession of marijuana.
To do that Sensible BC needs to collect signatures from 10 percent of the registered voters in every single one of BC'S 85 electoral districts.
Those signatures need to be gathered within a 90 day period. If the campaign is successful in getting the 400,000 signatures it needs from September to November, there will be a provincial vote on the act in September, 2014.
Wall says she became involved because she believes police resources are not being used to their best capacity and that the backlog in the courts from possession charges is a burden on the system.
She started her effort at the shop in August, collecting pre-registration signatures to convince Elections BC to allow for the referendum.
"We collected 60 signatures during that time alone, and I had amazing conversations with clients on both side of the argument," she said.
Once the official OK was given, she continued gathering the pre-registration signatures, until the Sept. 9 release of the official petition.
In recent days, she has seen everyone from interested high school students who want to help to business people walk through the door.
"It is literally everyone from orchard workers to people in suits and ties, because this issue effects everyone," she said.
Amanda Stewart, the riding organizer for the Penticton electoral district for Sensible BC, said in addition to LockWorks Inc., signatures are being taken at her two Valley Hemp and Imports stores in the city and at ServiceMaster on Government Street.
There is also a table set up at the Penticton Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Stewart said they are shooting for 6,500 signatures in the Penticton region.
Interest has been strong so far, and she believes it will continue to grow.
"We have been digging a deep hole, paying to target and imprison people for a crime that has no victim, and we can't afford it anymore," she said. "There are also a lot of seniors who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, and we are denying them their right to access medicine."
Read more Penticton / S. Okanagan News
City of Penticton
Penticton Discussion Forum
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
Okanagan Regional Library
- New development to include winery Dec 13
- Update: Highway 97 accident in Oliver Dec 13
- Summerland woman attacked by coyotes Dec 12
- Ice skating in Naramata Dec 12
- New chair & vice chair for school board Dec 11
- School bus keys stolen in Keremeos Dec 11
- Hwy. 97 now open near Oliver Dec 11