Canadian activist mulls “ballot initiatives” to influence marijuana laws

White Canada touts itself for being a thriving parliamentary democracy, a prominent marijuana activist is seeing its limits when it comes to formulating a reasonable marijuana policy.

On Saturday, the Vancouver-based Dana Larsen wrote on Twitter that “ballot initiatives and direct democracy are better and more important than [Canada’s] proportional representation.”

He even called for a working ballot initiative system in his province of British Columbia.

When asked about his proposal, Larsen told the Puff Puff Post that direct democracy through ballot initiatives can be “very useful.”

“If we could write our own cannabis laws in B.C. and have a vote on them we’d get a better system than we are going to get from the government,” he explained.

Larsen is the founder and director of Sensible BC, Canada’s largest grassroots cannabis reform organization.

In a series of tweets, Larsen said a campaign by Sensible BC has garnered more than 200,000 signatures to legalize recreational marijuana. “We would have qualified for the ballot in pretty much any U.S. state with such a system,” he said.

“Maybe I’m biased, because every single U.S. state that legalized cannabis, medical or otherwise, did so through ballot initiatives.”

He praised ballot initiatives as a “way for citizens to overrule their politicians when they refuse to listen,” he said. “Cannabis reform is a perfect example.”

The Liberal-led government has angered Canadian activists over the way they legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Not only Ottawa made the punishment for those selling illegal marijuana especially to underaged Canadian far more severe, it imposed more of a government monopoly over the future sales of cannabis. 

His tweets reflect the general skepticism felt by marijuana advocates and producers of the legalization process.

Comments