Reeferendum will target War on Drugs

Montreal Gazette, Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hugo St-Onge is convinced he has the winning conditions for his looming "reeferendum." His Bloc Pot party, set to run 50 to 65 candidates in the March 26 election, is organizing the online plebiscite on the legalization of marijuana in Quebec.

It'll be a fair process, the Bloc leader insisted at a news conference at an Ontario St. bar yesterday. A non-party-member will oversee voting. Only those on the official voters' list can cast ballots ( unless, of course, they're 16 or 17 years old, in which case anybody can vote ).

"We want to send the absurd ( pot ) prohibition up in smoke," said St-Onge, who stands out from other leaders thanks to his penchant for hemp shirts, his beard and long hair that reaches his mid-back.

An accountant, St-Onge, 32, is taking his third stab at politics, in Gouin riding. In 2003, the Bloc ran 56 candidates, garnering 22,904 votes.

The party, running on an end-the-war ( on drugs ) promise, says pot laws waste police and court resources, endanger health and make drugs too accessible to children. It says it will unveil "a business plan" showing legalization would revive Quebec's regions, protect the environment, create a biofuel industry and cut health costs.

The reeferendum runs March 11 to 26, at