CANNABIS CULTURE – A billboard calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end marijuana arrests will be displayed this week just a short walk from Parliament Hill in our nation’s capital.
“Stop the arrests!” the proposed sign will read. “Over 25,000 marijuana possession arrests under Trudeau so far.”
The sign will also include the link to www.legalizepetition.ca, a website for a marijuana e-petition currently posted by activists on the government of Canada website and supported by Green Party Member of Parliament Elizabeth May.
Dana Larsen of Sensible BC, the marijuana activist responsible for the billboard, told Cannabis Culture that it will be displayed at Laurier Ave. and Elgin St. in Ottawa for the next month.
“I want Parliamentarians to see it,” Larsen said. “There’s no absolutely reason for there to be any more arrests for cannabis possession in Canada ever again. Yet there’s one arrest for cannabis every 9 minutes in Canada – disproportionally targeting young, poor, and First Nations Canadians. There’s no indication that this rate of arrests has slowed under the Liberals.”
Over 15,000 people have signed the e-petition since its launch in February, making it the second most popular on the government website. Supporters have 120 days from launch to add their signature online.
“What is the point of continuing to bust cannabis users, with legalization just around the corner?” Larsen said. “How can our Prime Minister justify allowing even a single Canadian to be arrested or charged for doing something he himself did quite recently, as an MP?”
The e-petition asks the government to immediately put an end to all arrests for cannabis possession and personal cultivation, pardon all Canadians with cannabis convictions, allow growers to harvest high-CBD cannabis resin for medical use, and repeal Canada’s outdated anti-bong and paraphernalia laws.
Two other cannabis-related e-petitions sponsored by Liberal MPs are also gaining support.
One has almost 8000 signatures and is sponsored by Liberal MP Lloyd Longfield from Guelph. It calls for medical cannabis to be “treated consistently with other medical necessities, and be zero-rated, exempt from sales tax.”
The other has over 1300 signatures and is sponsored by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith from Toronto. It calls for the government “to allow for the personal production of cannabis as part of upcoming cannabis legalization legislation.”
Larsen is former editor of Cannabis Culture and the founder of Vancouver’s Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary. Lately the activist has gained notoriety for his pot-related media stunts.
Earlier this year, Larsen sent a gram of weed enclosed with a copy of his book Cannabis in Canada: The Illustrated History to each Liberal MP, provoking the party whip to advise the MPs to contact the police.
In 2003, Canada’s largest billboard company, Pattison Outdoor, refused to display Sensible BC’s messaging before having a change of heart once mainstream media picked up the story.