Marijuana petition group will not be at Marine Fest

NANAIMO – A group campaigning to de-criminalize marijuana possession has been denied booth space at one of Nanaimo's largest festivals.

A group campaigning to de-criminalize marijuana possession has been denied booth space at one of Nanaimo’s largest festivals.

Sensible B.C., a group led by marijuana activist Dana Larsen, proposes an amendment to the Police Act that would disallow police in B.C. to spend any time, money or resources on cases of simple possession of cannabis.

Elections B.C. has given approval in principal for the group to lead a petition drive and starting Sept. 9, Sensible B.C. will have 90 days to collect signatures from at least 10 per cent of registered provincial voters in each of the province’s 85 electoral districts to trigger a referendum, as was done to repeal the HST.

Larsen said a while ago, the group booked a booth at the Nanaimo Marine Festival July 26-28 in Maffeo Sutton Park and the cheque was cashed, but then last week the group was told that it couldn’t have the booth after all and the money was returned.

“We think that’s kind of odd and unfair,” he said. “We were always clear about what we were doing. We’re at a lot of events this summer to drum up awareness.”

Bill McGuire, commodore with the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, said organizers try to stay away from politics and religion as well as anything that could be controversial at the festival and the group’s mandate does not fit with what the festival is all about.

“We don’t try to say no to anything, but also we’re putting on an event that’s family-oriented and that has no place in our event,” he said. “We just felt that that one didn’t fit the bill.”

The society made a mistake in allowing the application initially, McGuire added, and will look at how to prevent something like this from happening again.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Beefs & Bouquets, May 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

100-pound gargoyle stolen from backyard in Nanaimo’s south end

RCMP asking for any information about the statue’s whereabouts

Helicopter company helps Nanaimo couple get married, socially distanced on a mountaintop

West Coast Helicopters lifts wedding onto Mount Cokely after COVID-19 cancelled previous plans

Nanaimo senior who was excessively speeding says her vehicle shouldn’t have been impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

OPINION: Another world is possible as we emerge from pandemic

Nanaimo city councillor Tyler Brown says resiliency starts at the community level

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

West Coast Trail to remain closed for now

Federal government won’t open world-famous trek until its First Nations are ready for visitors

Nanaimo man scores viral hit with stop-motion tribute to ‘Schitt’s Creek’

Todd Cameron used vintage Fisher Price toys to create one-minute music video

Case of missing Nanaimo woman inspires new true crime podcast

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young

Most Read