11/29/2013 04:03 EST

Sensible BC Petition Hits Target In Christy Clark's Riding

Jesse Ferreras

Dana Larsen's Sensible BC campaign may not be hitting its target province wide, but campaigners are taking a small measure of victory after gathering the required number of signatures on Premier Christy Clark's turf.

The petition to decriminalize marijuana in B.C. has hit the 10 per cent of signatures it needs in Westside-Kelowna, which Clark represents in the legislature, Kelowna Capital News reported.

Volunteers have collected over 4,600 signatures in the riding. And while Sensible BC has fallen short in the neighbouring constituencies of Kelowna-Lake Country and Kelowna-Mission, campaign spokesman Mark Conlin is delighted at this one small success.

"We're very, very pleased," he told the newspaper. "Having the premier's riding sends a message."

But not likely a message strong enough to propel the movement to its goal of approximately 400,000 signatures by Dec. 9, the deadline to hand the petition into Elections BC.

So far, the campaign estimates they have between 175,000 and 200,000 signatures, well below what it needs to force a referendum on the provincial Sensible Policing Act, The Globe and Mail reported.

Campaign director Dana Larsen said that canvassers have had particular trouble taking names in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Cariboo.

"Vancouver as a whole has been a challenge, partly because everybody thinks Vancouver’s going to be really easy," he told the newspaper. "It’s a big city with a lot of people here, with many different viewpoints. No district is a cakewalk."

But Larsen says he won't give up. He told The Huffington Post B.C. in early November that he might try again next year, though he admitted that financing for a second shot would be tough.

If he does give it another go, he may have the "Prince of Pot" himself on hand to help. Imprisoned marijuana activist Marc Emery is due back in Canada in August 2014 and his wife Jodie told The Georgia Straight that he already planned on travelling around British Columbia to meet supporters when he came home.

"It would be a perfect tie-in to do the campaign," she told the newspaper.

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