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Editorial: Pot Poll Just a Warm-up
How long is the shelf life of an opinion?
Or in the case of the recently-concluded Sensible BC petition, what is the best way to encourage people to freely express their opinion with no fear of the potential consequences of their actions.
Some accounts relating to the province-wide effort to change the way marijuana is dealt with, as described on the preceding page, are quite jarring. Insults, minor assaults and damage to property are some of the side-bars to the story. One can only imagine the level of passion/hostility if the petition involved any number of hotter button issues.
The fact that the organizers’ desired results were not achieved, is no reason to think the issue can be laid to rest. As front man Dana Larsen insists, they’ll be back for more as soon as the regulations permit... better prepared and more determined than ever.
Similar processes are also going on over pipelines, mines, dams and other projects with huge economic and environmental implications. Do you suppose someone is going to give up on a plan just because a vote or two may not go their way?
The next vote is always being planned and worked toward, with more preliminary advertising, more impassioned spokespersons, more experts and more data.
With a mine, export terminal, pipeline or massive dam, to use a few examples, it could be suggested the issue is sort of put to bed when construction is complete and operation kicks in. But with legislation like marijuana laws that can change according to public opinion or people’s willingness to express it... the issues never die, only the potential dates of the referenda.