Pubdate: Mon, 25 Oct 2004
Source: Hindustan Times (India)
Copyright: 2004, Hindustan Times Ltd.
Author: Gurmukh Singh, Vancouver
Cited: Marijuana Party of Canada
Cited: Cannabis Culture Magazine
Cited: Pot-TV
Cited: Legalize Cannabis Party
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Imagine a Ganja Party of India, or a Bhang Magazine or a Charas-TV. Canada 
has all these.

The Marijuana Party of Canada, Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot-TV. And 
the man who spawned all this says India was a spark of inspiration for him.

In 1992, Marc Emery was just another visitor to India. When he visited 
Pushkar in Rajasthan, he says he couldn't believe his eyes.

"Sadhus were smoking ganja openly. No policemen interrupted them.  In 
Varanasi, sadhus used ganja and bhang. In Jaisalmer, I found a shop which 
sold charas. Damn it. Back in North America we were spending million of 
dollars to stop drug trade, and here in India nobody stopped these sadhus. 
There was no prohibition. I found India very inspirational," he told this 
correspondent some time ago.

Returning home, he launched a movement to overthrow prohibition. Emery 
opened a shop called Hemp BC in Vancouver to openly sell marijuana or 
ganja. That was in 1994. Since then he has been in and out of jail.

Today, when he came out of jail for the ninth time after his three-month 
incarceration, he just smirked, saying, jails don't bother him.

Called the Prince of Pot (marijuana or ganja), Emery is North America's 
most well known marijuana activist. He is all over the media. Time 
magazine, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, ABC News, the Sunday 
Times of London, the Asian Wall Street Journal, etc. have profiled him.

The 45-year-old man runs his own Pot-TV and Cannabis Culture magazine. His 
Marijuana Party contested all the 79 seats in the last British Columbian 
provincial elections and received 3.5 per cent of the total vote, more than 
the Green Party.

He makes millions of dollars by selling marijuana. "After many police 
raids, I stopped selling over the counter. Now I sell by mail order. I keep 
no receipts so that there is no proof against me."

Canadian laws against marijuana or drug operations are very lenient, to say 
the least. If you are caught growing or selling it, you are either let off 
or fined lightly. Amidst this leniency, Emery is making a pile and using 
his profit to finance what he calls "a revolution to overthrow prohibition."

According to him, the Americans paid heavily for the prohibition of the 
1920s. Al Capone and myriad of other gangs mushroomed.

"I advocate the position of liberty, the position of justice, the position 
of non-violent freedom for all people to do what they want, to put in their 
body what they want, to act in a manner that is suitable to them without 
interference from others, especially their government," he tells an 

The Marijuana Party of Canada has put the issue before people who seem to 
be responding. According to surveys, more than 50 per cent Canadians are 
against prohibition.

"Prohibition grants a monopoly to gangsters who charge whatever price they 
want. My plea is: if you lift prohibition, crime syndicates will disappear. 
Black market will disappear. Sell marijuana in the open. I am a 
libertarian," Emery says who began his activism way back in 1975.

The Marijuana Party scored a victory two years ago when the federal 
government allowed the use of marijuana in medical-prescribed cases.

Strict anti-drug laws in the neighbouring US has led many crime syndicates 
to take up marijuana smuggling from Canada in a big way. Every year, 
thousands of marijuana grow-ups (indoors cultivations under hot lamps) are 
destroyed in British Columbia in Canada. Still the illegal trade is said to 
be worth about 4 billion dollars.

"I am committed to ending prohibition," says Emery, who has donated 
millions to election campaigns of the Marijuana Party, pro-ganja 
initiatives in the US and the Legalize Cannabis Party in New Zealand.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake