A new online petition hopes to pressure Canadian politicians to remove cannabis as a controlled substance, with feedback from the community.
Organizer Sam Vekemans is currently looking for an MP to sponsor his petition to repeal the prohibition on cannabis possession and cultivation before he’s able to share the document to collect signatures.
“The text of the petition was very carefully worded and written with the help of the cannabis community who all took a look at it, and agreed that this covers the basics that everyone wants,” wrote Vekemans on his blog. “It’s currently still waiting for Elizabeth May to sponsor the petition, she has until February 9th, at that point, I will be given the option to select a different MP to sponsor the e-petition.”
Vekemans said that he’s tried to approach his local MP, Murray Rankin, but hasn’t received a response.
While the federal government has promised to legalize cannabis, Vekemans wants to give the party a guideline on how to do it.
“I figure that it’s better if we (the people) tell the MPs and senators exactly how we want cannabis to be legalized,” he wrote, suggesting that cannabis should not be regulated by the federal government, but more akin to how alcohol is controlled – at a provincial level.
In addition to repealing prohibition, the petition calls on the government to allow patients (or designated growers) to provide medical cannabis as recommended by a physician, end police raids, allow hemp farmers to harvest resin and grant pardons, on a case-by-case basis, to those convicted under cannabis related crimes.
Vekemans has also created three draft bills; C-420, which, if passed, would immediately end prohibition; C-421, which would allow for additional changes as detailed in the petition, including the expunging of cannabis-related criminal records; and C-428, “an act to establish a national nay of recognition and reconciliation for those who have lost their lives or had their lives ruined from the failed Drug War” on Apr. 20 of each year.
“The draft text of three bills take this even a step further and does the work of an MP/senator, so all they need to do is submit it,” Vekemans wrote. “The reality is, of course, is that MPs will have something to say about it, and offer ideas on how to make the document better. As more people are providing feedback on this, the better the text becomes.”
Vekemans is still looking for feedback on his project and said he is hosting meetup groups to garner more expert advice on the bills.