Pubdate: Fri, 22 Oct 2010
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun Columnist
Referenced: Michelle's Video Broadcast (Youtube)


Michelle Rainey, a Former Business Partner of Marc Emery, Said She 
Hoped Her Legacy Would Be Change

Michelle Rainey, Prince of Pot Marc Emery's ex-business partner and 
blond bombshell medical marijuana advocate, has died of cancer.

She had lived with Crohn's disease since she was a teenager and in 
the last years of her life struggled against melanoma and lymphatic cancer.

Her husband, Jef Tek, and mother, Emilie, were at her side, each 
holding a hand, when she succumbed Wednesday night at her home in 
Maple Ridge in spite of last-ditch, high-dosage experimental cannabis 

She was greatly loved and will be hugely missed.

Rainey, 39, was the organizational force behind Emery's pot-based 
business empire although their relationship deteriorated and they 
split after being hit with a 2005 U.S. drug-and-money-laundering indictment.

Producing her own show on YouTube titled Michelle's Medicinal 
Marijuana, distributing cannabis education packages to those who were 
in need and being a director for Treating Yourself magazine, she was 
a tenacious proselytizer for the plant and its therapeutic properties.

Rainey and Emery met in 1998 while he was living on the Sunshine 
Coast and she was working in a Gibsons bank. She quit work to become 
his partner. Together they established the B.C. Marijuana Party and 
opened a bookstore-cum-pot HQ on West Hastings Street.

In the 2001 provincial election, the party fielded candidates in 
every riding -- 79 in all. Rainey ran in Peace River South operating 
out of The Alaskan Hotel in Dawson Creek.

She got U.S. President Ronald Reagan's old campaign tour bus, 
nicknamed it the "Cannabus," and toured the province with then-party 
leader Brian Taylor, now mayor of Grand Forks.

The party captured more than 50,000 votes -- 3.2 per cent -- all 
funded by Emery's multimillion-dollar-a-year catalogue seed business.

She joked that she worked at Emery's "beck and call" -- be it lining 
up candidates, coordinating seed-smuggling trips by pretty women back 
and forth to Europe or storing up to 40 pounds of pot for the parties.

Their economic success and celebrity, however, attracted the 
attention of the American drug warriors and they were busted.

She and a third co-accused, Greg Williams, pleaded guilty in April 
and were sentenced to two years' probation; last month Emery began 
serving a five-year prison term in the U.S. "Michelle needs to be 
recognized as one of the greatest activists this movement has ever 
had," he said via an e-mail from jail. "Michelle may have literally 
given her life to the movement, and when people think about what they 
can do for freedom in their lifetime, Michelle's life is a shining 
example of how much is possible, even under great duress."

In the early 1990s, Rainey began smoking marijuana in place of a 
daily regimen of pharmaceutical drugs she was taking to relieve the 
symptoms of Crohn's. She said cannabis did not trigger the same 
debilitating side effects as the pills.

After meeting Emery, she came out of the closet about her use and in 
recent years became Canada's most recognizable medical pot crusader.

Her advocacy brought her into contact with numerous high-profile 
Canadians and she relished talking about rubbing shoulders with 
celebrities such as Romeo Dallaire, Henry Morgentaler and Wade Davis.

Media mogul Moses Znaimer, who made Rainey a regular at his 
celebrated annual idea City conference, flew to Vancouver to say 
goodbye. Her pal Dan Aykroyd telephoned his last so-long earlier in 
the day Wednesday.

"I want people to keep working, keep working for change -- too many 
sick people are still having difficulty getting their medication," 
Rainey recently said. "That's what I want as my legacy -- change."

She did not live to see the historic marijuana legalization vote that 
will occur in California on Nov. 2.

She predicted, though: "Change is going to come." 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake