On Friday, May 13, the British Columbia Marijuana Party began civil proceedings against the City of Abbotsford and the Surrey School Board.
In separate lawsuits under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the BCMP moved for orders to prevent each defendant from targeting the BCMP and the ability for candidates to have political discussion.
The City of Abbotsford case revolves around the City’s removal of BCMP signs for its Abbotsford-Mount Lehman candidate, Tim Felger. Mr. Felger has put up more than forty signs promoting the BCMP platform of ending marijuana prohibition ? virtually of them have been removed. “The targeting of BCMP Signs, while leaving those of other political parties in place, is an affront to the core principles underlying our democracy,” stated Marc Emery, the BCMP President.
Emery continued, “Abbotsford is a hotbed of prohibitionist thinking and they seem to be targeting us because they do not agree with our message. The right to express political opinions is of paramount importance to anyone who values freedom ? we are greatly disappointed that our candidate’s ability to participate in the electoral process has been hindered.”
The Surrey School Board matter comes from the exclusion of BCMP candidates Amanda Boggan and Neil Magnuson from a debate held at the Queen Elizabeth School. Ms. Boggan (Surrey-Green Timbers) was invited to participate by a student. The day before the debate, the student informed her that he was required to withdraw her invitation ? but that school officials would not tell him why. Ms. Boggan attempted to attend the debate but was ordered off school property by authorities of the Surrey School Board.
“Silencing different points of view is wrong anytime, but it is particularly bad in this case because of the anti-democratic message it sends to our young people. The BCMP speaks to issues of great importance to young people, who are ? besides medical users ? the worst victims of prohibition. The Surrey School Board is doing a tremendous disservice to its students by engaging in targeted discrimination against an important political message,” claimed Emery.
About the BCMP: Established in 2001, the British Columbia Marijuana Party is committed to ending the unjust and harmful persecution of the cannabis community.