Pubdate: Thu, 19 Apr 2012
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Ian Austin
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


Former U.S. Attorney WHO Prosecuted Marc Emery for Selling Seeds Now 
Lobbying for Legalization

The man who put Marc Emery behind bars is now advocating for the 
legalization of marijuana.

A pro-legalization event Wednesday in Vancouver featured a bizarre 
pairing at the head table of two important figures in the self-styled 
Prince of Pot's life - his wife, Jodie Emery, and his prosecutor, John McKay.

"Nearly one million people every year are imprisoned for simple 
marijuana possession," said McKay, who believes none of those 
criminals should be serving time.

The former U.S. Attorney, free to lobby for legal changes since he 
left his job in 2007, said the push for pot changes in America 
reminds him of the long campaign that led to the eventual 
legalization of alcohol.

"The Prohibition era provided huge illegal profits for the Mafia and 
terrible violence," said McKay, pointing to today's ultraviolent 
Mexican drug cartels. "If that sounds familiar, it should."

McKay noted that both Washington and Colorado will vote soon to 
legalize small quantities of pot for adults, with another 14 states 
at various stages in a move to decriminalize pot, essentially issuing 
the equivalent of a traffic ticket for simple possession.

But McKay made no apologies for Emery's imprisonment.

Emery should have lobbied to change the law, he said, not broken the 
law in order to get it changed.

"If that was his purpose - to change policy - I think he took the 
wrong route," said McKay, who put Emery in prison in 2010 for selling 
marijuana seeds to U.S. customers from his Vancouver headquarters.

"He made a decision that would have given every juvenile in the 
United States access to marijuana, which I think is wrong."

Emery and McKay sat side by side, extolling the virtues of pot 
legalization, and afterward The Province asked how they could get 
along so well, considering McKay sent Emery's husband to jail.

"I think Jodie is a gracious person," said McKay.

"I have no animosity toward her husband at all. I just think he made 
a mistake."

Jodie Emery was delighted to have someone of McKay's reputation on 
board. "It's one thing for a hippie to say he thinks marijuana should 
be legalized," she said.

"To have someone who's on the front lines, who's seen what's 
happening, say he thinks marijuana should be legalized, that gives us 


Initiative 502

It goes by the innocuous name Washington Initiative 502, but it could 
be a radical game-changer for B.C.'S $8-billion marijuana industry.

In November, Washington state residents will vote on I-502, which 
would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

As happened in B.C. with the anti-hst movement, petitioners south of 
the border were first required to sign up huge numbers of proponents 
- - 241,153 to be exact - who signed on the dotted line in a bid to 
change the state's marijuana laws.

As with the harmonized sales tax, legislation to legalize pot could 
have been introduced, but - as in B.C.- the state government instead 
chose to put it to a referendum vote, coinciding with this fall's 
general election.

B.C. has, at least until now, been seen as more liberal than its U.S. 
neighbours when it comes to drug laws.

But a successful initiative south of the border would in one fell 
swoop make Washington state the more lenient jurisdiction for 
possession of pot - with wide-ranging implications for everyone 
involved on both sides of the border.

- - Ian Austin
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom