A photo op staged underneath Kelowna's most prominent clock was meant to suggest it's high time the province's pot laws are changed.
Promoters of Sensible BC kicked off their ambitious campaign to force a referendum on decriminalizing
marijuana below the Bennett clock tower in downtown Kelowna.
None of the dozen or so campaign supporters who attended the event appeared to be smoking pot, which perhaps reflected the seriousness they say they'll bring to the petition drive.
"No other organization has been this well-prepared for a referendum campaign in this province," said Mark Conlin,
local spokesperson for Sensible BC. "We don't anticipate a problem reaching the target. What we're seeing is a huge degree of support."
The clock was erected in honour of W.A.C. Bennett, a former Kelowna hardware store owner who was the longest-serving premier of B.C., holding the
office from 1952-72.
Although the clock is next to City Hall and just a block from the RCMP station, public use of marijuana in the area
Perhaps because of that reality, there was a fairly high level of enthusiasm among some passers-by for the Sensible BC campaign to decriminalize pot.
"Absolutely, it's the right thing to do," said Shelley Fredericks, 36. "I can't believe it's still something we're even having to talk about out. Everybody I know smokes, at least once in awhile. The law's a joke."
After he signed the petition, 38-year-old Kevin Northcott said: "With some (American) states legalizing marijuana, it's just a matter of time before the same thing happens here. But I don't think it ever would have happened if the U.S had remained a prohibition country."
To be successful, the campaign needs to draw the signatures of 10 per cent of the voters in each of the B.C.'s 85 electoral ridings.
It's a difficult challenge, especially considering there's a time limit for the campaign of just 90 days.
More than 400,000 signatures are required, averaging about 4,500 signatures in each riding.
The campaign against the HST was the only effort that ever succeeded under the province's Recall and Initiative Act, passed in 1991.