CANNABIS CULTURE – Victoria resident Myles Wilkinson thought he was heading for the experience of a lifetime after he won an all-expense paid trip to the Super Bowl in New Orleans, by coming out victorious in a contest sponsored by Bud Light Canada.
“I won this trip through nflcanada.com/fantasy. I had to beat close to four million contestants to get the grand prize,” Wilkinson said. “It is really hard to win.”
However, US customs agents at Pearson airport refused to let Wilkinson cross the border, because of a cannabis possession charge from 1981.
“When I was 19 years old I was charged with possession of less than two grams of cannabis,” Wilkinson said. “I had to pay a $50 fine. Because of this, US customs officials felt that I was too much of a risk to allow me into their country. Poof, there goes my trip of a lifetime!”
“This is all too common of a story,” said Dana Larsen, director of the Sensible BC campaign to have a referendum on cannabis decriminalization. “Any kind of possession conviction means a lifetime ban on crossing the US border, as well as a permanent stigma. For most people, just being charged without ever actually being convicted can still prevent them from ever entering the USA.”
“RCMP have doubled the number of possession charges in BC since 2005,” Larsen said. “In 2011, they laid about 3800 charges for possession. That means every day, ten more British Columbians face the lifetime stigma of a possession charge. Our Sensible BC campaign will put a stop to all that, saving our province many millions of dollars and stopping tens of thousands of British Columbians from facing this same situation over the coming decades.”
“I will be putting my time into supporting the Sensible BC campaign,” Wilkinson said. “A possession charge that only cost me $50 at the time has in reality turned into a 32 year sentence. I want to stop this from happening to anyone else.”
To help make up for his lost trip, Budlight Canada has invited Wilkinson to attend their Super Bowl party at the Commodore ballroom as their guest.