Activist Tonia Winchester

Cannabis Legalization, Legislation and Access Presentation at Government Conference

BC politicians will have the chance to learn about local cannabis legalization from someone who went through the process firsthand.

The Union of BC Municipalities holds its annual conference in Vancouver, Sept. 21, and features guest speaker Tonia Winchester, who helped campaign for legalized cannabis in Washington.

Winchester, a former prosecutor, served in the coalition of citizens that, despite federal drug laws, allowed cannabis to be sold to adults over 21 starting, July 2014.

The union must be drawing comparisons to the current situation in BC, where a growing number of cannabis dispensaries have popped up, challenging governments to regulate the issue.

The description of the event reads that attendees will, “explore Canada’s current legislative environment including the recent federal court case. It will also examine how the larger questions related to legalization, jurisdiction, and organized crime play into the marijuana debate.”

Winchester will discuss the cannabis legalization process in Washington and answer questions from delegates about the issue in BC.

I’ve heard more from my Canadian friends who are disappointed and say that Canada has always been known for being more progressive, and yet here we have Alaska and Washington beating BC in this movement,” Winchester said. “I don’t know if any Americans are thinking it’s a bragging right but I definitely think it’s a question for BC to be thinking about because you guys have always been so far ahead of the curve.”