B.C. man puts lottery win towards fight to legalize cannabis
Published Saturday, February 9, 2013 10:54AM EST
A British Columbia pot activist is putting his money where his mouth is -- literally -- by putting up his lottery winnings in the fight to legalize marijuana in the province.
Bob Erb won a $25-million jackpot in November and, at the time, pledged to use some of his new-found wealth to support cannabis decriminalization efforts.
Now, the 60-year-old has followed through on his promise, pledging up to $500,000 to match donations made to Sensible B.C. over the coming months.
“The biggest social injustice I’ve seen in all my entire lifetime is the criminalization and prohibition of marijuana,” Erb told CTV British Columbia on Friday.
Sensible B.C. has launched a campaign to collect enough signatures from registered voters to hold a referendum on the issue in 2014.
The group is also calling on the provincial government to pass the Sensible Policing Act, which will stop police in the province from using time and resources related to the prosecution of simple possession of marijuana.
“Although we can’t fully legalize and regulate as a province, we can tell the police to stop spending their time and resources to searching, detaining and arresting people for simple possession of cannabis,” Sensible B.C. founder Dana Larsen said.
The act doesn’t impact any of the laws regarding trafficking, possession for the purposes of trafficking or cultivation of marijuana.
A growing number of prominent B.C. municipal leaders, health and legal officials have joined the efforts to decriminalize cannabis in the province.
South of the border, Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize the possession of marijuana and Erb is hoping B.C. will follow suit.
The 60-year-old has also shared his lottery winnings residents in his hometown of Terrace, B.C., donating a large amount to the local homeless shelter.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Penny Daflos