Happy 4 :20
The decision by Peachland council to ban the sale of marijuana is a bizarre way to approach legalization, according to Dana Larsen, founder of Sensible BC. He said such bylaws are typically directed at a particular dispensary.
Marijuana for recreational use is already boosting economies across Canada, but maintaining prohibition at the local level prevents a community from realizing the benefits, Larsen said.
Over in West Kelowna, council has prepared for legalization by restricting the sale of marijuana to full-service pharmacies. Canadians were told the drug would become legal on July 1 of this year, but it will be a bit later as the legislation – Bill C45 – has been stalled in Senate. However, Larsen doesn’t believe Senators are actually taking sober-second thought on the issue – he says they’re just posturing.
“They’re not looking at cannabis legalization in a sober way.”
Larsen would prefer the end of prohibition to come via decriminalization instead of legalization. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said his party also prefers decriminalization over legalization. But Larsen says they’re not even close to being on the same page.
“I have no faith in Andrew Scheer,” he said. “Decriminalization is a slippery word that means different things to different people.” He believes the NDP would do a better job than the Liberals in ending prohibition, but “the Conservatives would be way worse.”
Larsen worries that Scheer’s version of decriminalization would subject marijuana users to “huge tickets.” “All the Tories did when they were in power was bring in mandatory minimums and harsher penalties.” While Bill C45 will allow Canadians to legally enjoy recreational marijuana, Larsen says it stops short of fully ending prohibition.
But he’ll continue to defy the rules that he deems unjust.
“It doesn’t even legalize the joint that I’m rolling right now.” Once Bill C45 does pass, it will still be illegal for Canadians to sell marijuana privately, smoke in public parks, or even possess marijuana that wasn’t personally grown or obtained through a licensed dispensary.
Larsen blatantly disregards those laws and since today is 4:20, he is probably breaking them right now at Sunset Beach in Vancouver.
Beyond advocating for sensible marijuana regulation, Larsen is also responsible for the Overgrow Canada campaign, which offers free cannabis seeds to all Canadians. Anybody who makes a request is sent 100 seeds in the mail, and he encourages participants to plant/grow them in obvious public places.
“The response we get is wonderful.”
To order free cannabis seeds, visit overgrowcanada. com.