Success is within reach, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Those are the thoughts of Dana Larsen of Sensible BC on the ongoing campaign aiming to decriminalize simple marijuana possession.
With the Dec. 5 deadline approaching, Sensible BC canvassers in Prince Rupert and around the province have to kick into high gear to get the required signatures to force a referendum on the matter.
The Sensible BC campaign would need just over 300,000 signatures across the province, equating to 10 per cent of registered voters in each of the province’s electoral districts, to force a referendum. The campaign is aiming for 400,000 signatures to cover any signatures that don’t count according to Elections BC rules.
In Prince Rupert, there are more than 20 people registered to collect signatures, with Trevor Kayzer being the head canvasser.
Prince Rupert canvassers were collecting signatures in the Rupert Square Mall earlier this month, and again at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre last weekend. Along with the signing events, there are two fixed signing stations in Prince Rupert: Jim West Signs and Homesteader New and Used.
So far Prince Rupert is doing okay in terms of signature count, said Larsen.
“Prince Rupert is in the middle. It’s doing well. It’s not one of the top districts, but it’s not near the bottom. I think Prince Rupert will be able to make it,” he said, adding the campaign has been growing in momentum.
There is also still a lot of work to do provincially, said Larsen.
“We’re slightly under half way as we come into the final third of the campaign. We need to see some growth over the next few weeks,” Larsen said, adding the campaign has been seeing increases.
“We started off with about 1,400 canvassers and now we’ve got over 4,000. We’ve more than tripled our volunteer base. We’re bringing in substantially more signatures every week.”
Larsen said he’s not overly confident that the campaign will get enough signatures in time.
“It’s a huge challenge … we’re doing well and having an impact. I’d say I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re going to make it, but not overly confident. If we miss just one district we won’t make it and we have several districts that we really need to grow,” he said.
Larsen said it’s not too late to get involved with the campaign, and can still sign up to collect signatures.
More information is available at the campaign’s website, sensiblebc.ca.