Pubdate: Sun, 29 Apr 2012
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Postmedia Network Inc.
Page: A9
Author: Jon Ferry


Prefers Ron Paul: Jailed activist is a fan of Ayn Rand and rational capitalism

YAZOO CITY, Miss. - Jailed marijuana activist Marc Emery is all over 
the map politically. A founding member of the Marijuana Party of 
Canada, he's moved his support between the B.C. and federal NDP, the 
federal and provincial Greens and federal Liberals over the years.

But Emery says that's because so few of our leaders, including 
Premier Christy Clark, NDP Leader Adrian Dix or Green Party Leader 
Jane Sterk, are inspirational in any way.

"B.C. has got such an uninspiring lot of leaders who stand for 
nothing, are willing to stand for nothing," he told me from the 
Mississippi jail where he's serving out his five-year term for 
selling marijuana seeds. All play the waiting game, he says, waiting 
for the other to collapse.

"I'm well plugged in, but I cannot think of anything bold or exciting 
about Adrian Dix. And where did Jane Sterk of the B.C. Greens go? If 
she can't exploit the weakness in the B.C. Liberals and lack of 
enthusiasm for the NDP in these times, that's a failed franchise 
opportunity for sure."

However, Emery absolutely loves libertarian U.S. Republican candidate 
Ron Paul, who also calls the so-called war on drugs a total failure.

"What a great man! I've known of him since 1980 when I read about him 
in Reason magazine a year after I read Ayn Rand and became a convert 
to rational capitalism," he noted. "But I've been promoting him for 
president since 2006."

Emery says he doesn't tend to get into political discussions with his 
fellow inmates, most of who are from a completely different culture 
than that in British Columbia.

But he does tell them to have their families vote for Paul because 
part of his platform is to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders in 
federal prison.

"So that's the only way many of these inmates will ever get out," 
Emery told me in a prison email. "That would even get me out a year 
earlier, but to the guys who have served 10, 15, 20 years of a life 
sentence, it would be far more important."

Emery adds that it's weird that, while so many leading British 
Columbians are coming out in favour of marijuana decriminalization, 
Premier Christy Clark still seems to be wavering on the issue.

"When I was a guest on her show on CKNW, she said on the air, 'I 
don't really think anyone's against marijuana decriminalization 
anymore, it's not really an issue for most people nowadays.' But with 
the B.C. Conservatives at 20 per cent, she's running scared."

Besides, Emery says, women leaders generally don't do well in 
Canadian politics: "I think of Grace McCarthy, Alexa McDonough, 
Audrey McLaughlin, Kim Campbell and now, I'm certain, Christy Clark 
may well be the face of the disappearance of the B.C. Liberals."

However, he noted that the B.C. Social Credit legacy keeps being 
reincarnated, under different banners. "Each transition gives the NDP 
a chance at power, which they manage to fail at," he notes.

When he returns to B.C., he says, he's hoping wife Jodie can secure 
the Liberal Party of Canada nomination for Vancouver Centre in the 
fall of 2014.

But Jodie Emery says she has not joined the federal Liberals, and 
doesn't think it's realistic that she would win such a nomination 
when she hasn't been a Liberal Party member or done the necessary 
backroom work.

Besides, she's not sure how she feels about politics right now.

"I'm kind of enjoying not being beholden to any party and being able 
to speak in my mind," she said. "The problem with running any party 
is that you kind of need to be a cheerleader for that party's 
policies. And I like being able to speak my mind."
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart