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Sensible BC’s Campaign for pot referendum falls short 0

 Nick Eagland, 24 hours Vancouver

Sensible BC “Cannabus” in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday December 4, 2013. Sensible BC has put its notorious “Cannabus,” a converted 35 ft. Greyhound bus, for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $25,000. The organization is woefully short of the 400,000 votes it needs to pass a referendum to decriminalize marijuana before its Dec. 9 deadline. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

Sensible BC “Cannabus” in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday December 4, 2013. Sensible BC has put its notorious “Cannabus,” a converted 35 ft. Greyhound bus, for sale on eBay with a starting bid of $25,000. The organization is woefully short of the 400,000 votes it needs to pass a referendum to decriminalize marijuana before its Dec. 9 deadline. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)

The NDP kind of gives [decriminalization] lip service and they don’t really do anything. – Dana Larsen, Sensible BC spokesman

Sensible BC’s campaign for a referendum to decriminalize marijuana has finally burned out.

The pot-advocacy group projects it won’t be able to gather the more than 400,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum by its deadline at 4 p.m. today.

Sensible BC spokesman Dana Larsen blamed a “notoriously difficult” referendum system in B.C. and a lack of support from government.

The campaign faced stiff opposition from TransLink and BC Ferries, which both tried to prevent the pro-pot campaigners from canvassing on their properties.

Larsen said Sensible BC will take both companies to court in the coming months in order to establish rules regarding the placement of canvassers and so that future campaigns won’t face the same hurdles.

He also said the campaign struggled without a political champion in Parliament or the B.C. legislature.

“The whole need for this process is for when the government is just off the rails,” said Larsen. “We don’t have anybody standing up for this issue and making a big deal about it, even though it’s one of British Columbia’s largest industries.”

Larsen said that Sensible BC is “already figuring out what the best date is for a new launch” of the campaign.

Larsen said Sensible BC gathered more than 200,000 signatures since Sept. 9 and that the number of volunteers has tripled since then.

“This is by no means the end of Sensible BC – this is just the beginning,” said Larsen.

 

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