Bob Mulholland

Sensible BC campaign comes to Delta

Marijuana advocates will attempt to get draft bill for decriminalization accepted

The Sensible BC campaign for marijuana reform kicks off Sept. 9 and organizers are scrambling to find volunteers in every riding to help gather enough signatures to get a draft bill on decriminalization accepted by B.C.’s chief electoral officer.

North Delta resident Bob Mulholland has taken on the role of regional organizer – if only temporarily – to help get the ball rolling.

The reason he’s so passionate about getting marijuana decriminalized is simple. He says it saved his life.

Mulholland was fighting Hodgkins Disease in 2000-2001 and underwent six months of chemotherapy to fight the cancer. During that time he was so sick from treatment that he couldn’t keep any food down. Not a single bite.

“I even converted my own mother,” he said, regarding his marijuana use. “She had always been anti-anything to do with that.”

One day Mulholland’s mother visited him after chemotherapy with one of his favourite meals–Swiss Chalet chicken–but after a few bites he couldn’t keep the food down.

“I told her I’m going to call my friend, she’s going to come over here, we’re going to go out onto the balcony and smoke a joint and when we come back in we’re going to eat,” he said.

After he returned from smoking he not only downed his entire plate, he went back for seconds and thirds. His mother was sold.

Even prior to his cancer diagnosis, however, Mulholland says he was a recreational marijuana user, using it to relax or unwind at the end of a day. He says those who know about his marijuana use are generally supportive of it, whether for recreational or medicinal use.

The Sensible BC campaign may be facing a steep uphill battle. Dana Larsen, the campaign’s financial agent and most recognizable face of marijuana reform along with Jodie and Marc Emery, will have to collect the signatures of at least 10 per cent of registered voters in each of the province’s 85 ridings.

Similar to the Stop HST campaign, the Sensible campaign has just 90 days to accomplish this feat, which would require an estimated 400,000 signatures.

If that target can be reached, the chief electoral officer will have 42 days to verify the validity of the signatures. If that happens, the bill will go to a legislative committee where members can either table a report recommending it be introduced to the legislature, where it could die on the order paper, or refer it back to the chief electoral officer for an initiative vote, as happened with the HST campaign. That vote would take place Sept. 27, 2014.

In order for all that to happen, marijuana advocates will need to join the campaign quickly.

“I’m going to be doing everything I can to try and coordinate and delegate to whoever else is in my riding and make sure we get the right number of signatures,” says Mulholland.

The campaign officially gets underway on Monday, Sept. 9 with signature collecting and organizers will have until December to reach their goal.

According to a Forum Research poll conducted last week, 36 per cent of Canadians prefer legalization, while 34 per cent are in favour of decriminalization. Another 15 per cent felt the laws should be kept as they are.

Marijuana legalization and decriminalization discussions have reached a fever pitch in the Canadian political climate in recent weeks over federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s public admission of pot smoking and his goal to legalize the substance should he become prime minister in the future.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

In 2019, roughly one person died every three days in Surrey due to illicit drug overdoses

123 people died in the city in 2019, down from the previous year

BC Liberals firing at NDP due to fact new Surrey hospital not in budget

But Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims says business case is needed first

United Nations designates Surrey a ‘Tree City’

Surrey is one of 59 cities in the world to receive the designation

White Rock seeks assistance for park rain damage

City applies for provincial funding following closure of Ruth Johnson Park and ravine

Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 14

Brayden Ritchat, 14, last seen in the 10800-block of 141st Street in Whalley on Feb. 21

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read