Pubdate: Fri, 22 Oct 2010
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2010 The Windsor Star
Author: Ian Mulgrew, Postmedia News
Referenced: Michelle's Video Broadcast (Youtube)
Referenced: Treating Yourself Magazine


One of Canada's most recognizable marijuana crusaders, Michelle
Rainey, has died of cancer.

Rainey, 39, was one of Canada's most active and established marijuana
advocates. She helped establish the B.C. Marijuana Party, and ran as a
candidate -- touring the province in U.S. President Ronald Reagan's
old campaign tour bus, which she nicknamed the "Cannabus."

She was also the organizational force behind Prince of Pot Marc
Emery's marijuana-based business empire, although their relationship
deteriorated and they split after being hit with a 2005 U.S.
drug-and-money-laundering indictment.

Rainey had lived with Crohn's Disease since she was a teenager. In the
early 1990s, she began smoking marijuana in place of a daily regimen
of pharmaceutical drugs she was taking to relieve the symptoms of
Crohn's Disease, saying pot did not trigger the same debilitating side
effects as the pills.

In the last years of her life she 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 in spite of
last-ditch, high-dosage experimental cannabis treatment.

"Michelle needs to be recognized as one of the greatest activists this
movement has ever had," said Emery in an email from a U.S. prison,
where he's serving five years for selling marijuana seeds.

Until her death, Rainey was a tenacious proselytizer for the plant and
its therapeutic properties, producing her own show on YouTube,
distributing cannabis education packages to those in need and being a
director for Treating Yourself Magazine.

Rainey and Emery met in 1998 while he was living on B.C.'s Sunshine
Coast and she was working in a bank. She quit work to become his
business partner and they opened a bookstore that also served as a pot
headquarters on West Hastings Street in Vancouver.

Together they established the B.C. Marijuana Party. In the 2001
provincial election, theirs was the first political party in
provincial history to field candidates in every riding -- 79 in all.

Their economic success and celebrity, however, attracted the attention
of the American drug warriors and they were busted. She pleaded guilty
in April and was sentenced to two years of probation.

Rainey's 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 ideaCity conference, flew to Vancouver to say goodbye. Her pal
Dan Aykroyd telephoned his last so-long earlier in the day Wednesday.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake