Tim Hortons puts a lid on marijuana reform meetings
Published Thursday, September 5, 2013 6:47PM PDT
B.C. marijuana reform advocates are fuming after Tim Hortons told them to organize their meetings elsewhere.
Sensible BC members had been gathering at the popular Canadian coffee chain for weeks when leader Dana Larsen received a call from head office telling him to put a lid on it.
Tim Hortons didn’t ban the group outright, but took issue with newspaper ads members purchased to promote the meetings.
“It’s not fair,” Larsen said. “I found dozens of groups out there promoting that they’re meeting at Tim Hortons and having their book clubs or their Bible study clubs or whatever.”
The Sensible BC website was also blocked from Wi-Fi access across the Tim Hortons chain.
“We don’t like seeing our website blocked,” Larsen said. “We want people to be able to find out about our campaign.”
Tim Hortons told CTV News that while many groups meet in its coffee shops, the chain discourages anyone from promoting events at them.
However, spokeswoman Alexandra Cygal said the Sensible BC website was filtered automatically in error.
“This particular website should never have been blocked and once we received a request to unblock it last week, access was granted,” Cygal said in an email.
Larsen said the setback won’t make our break his ambitious petition campaign to force a referendum that could effectively decriminalize pot in B.C.
“I’m cautiously optimistic we’re going to make this happen and I’m not really worried about Tim Hortons at all in that sense,” he said.
Elections BC approved Sensible BC’s official petition earlier this year to amend the Police Act to prevent officers from enforcing simple possession laws.
If the group can collect signatures from 10 per cent of registered voters in each of B.C.’s 85 ridings by November, the government would be forced to either vote in the legislature or hold a non-binding referendum on the issue.
The campaign begins on Monday, Sept. 9. For more information, visit the Sensible BC website.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Julie Nolin