Pubdate: Sat, 23 Oct 2010
Source: Record, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Referenced: Michelle's Video Broadcast (Youtube)
Referenced: Treating Yourself Magazine

Michelle Rainey: 1971 - 2010


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

Rainey, who graduated from Lord Kelvin Elementary and New Westminster 
Secondary School, 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 died Wednesday night at her home in Maple 
Ridge in spite of last-ditch, high-dosage experimental cannabis treatment.

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.

Rainey produced her own show on YouTube titled Michelle's Medicinal 
Marijuana, distributing cannabis education packages to those who were 
in need and was a director for Treating Yourself magazine.

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 headquarters 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 managed to get 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 multi-million-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. 
and he commented on Rainey's passing via an e-mail from jail sent to 
Vancouver Sun columnist Ian Mulgrew: "Michelle needs to be recognized 
as one of the greatest activists this movement has ever had. ... 
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.

Rainey and Emery were such good friends in 2006 that Rainey was party 
of the wedding part for Emery's marriage to Jodie Giesz-Ramsay at 
Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.

Rainey also arranged for current New Westminster Coun. Lorrie 
Williams, who is also a marriage commissioner, to officiate at that 
ceremony. Williams had taught Rainey at Lord Kelvin previously.

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.

"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."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake