Pubdate: Wed, 09 Jul 2014
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2014 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2014 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Tristan Hopper
Page: A1
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


VANCOUVER - The Liberals may be leery of the idea, but when marijuana 
activist Marc Emery ends his four-year U.S. prison term on Wednesday, 
he has vowed an all-out, cross-Canada campaign to rally votes for 
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

"The star power we could bring to the campaign alongside Trudeau, 
that's powerful in an election when nothing else seems to get out the 
vote," said Jodie Emery, recently returned from her last visit with 
her husband at Yazoo City Federal Prison in Mississippi.

"We won't get a chance like this again," she said. Recently, Ms. 
Emery submitted her name to run as the Liberal candidate in Vancouver 
East, the riding represented for the past 17 years by the NDP's Libby Davies.

"I got asked by the members of the riding association if I would want 
to run, I thought about it, and I joined the party only about a month 
ago," she said.

As yet, Ms. Emery has yet to submit official papers for the 
nomination, and her candidacy would still need to be vetted by a 
local "Green Light committee."

"I'm sure they're looking up all my old videos and photos, and you 
can't hide those big bong hit photos from the old days," she said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Emery, 56, will end his 1,590-day U.S. prison 
sentence for drug distribution, although he expects he will not be 
deported across the Detroit-Windsor border until mid-August.

 From then until the October 2015 federal election, the self-styled 
"Prince of Pot" has said he intends to appear at public events across 
the country imploring supporters to vote for the Liberal party.

Speaking by phone, Mr. Emery acknowledged it "might make Mr. Trudeau 
a bit nervous," but added, "I have to make good use of my reputation 
in the cannabis culture, and no job is more important than defeating 
prohibitionist regimes."

The Liberal party endorsed marijuana legalization at a party 
convention in early 2012, and in the months since Mr. Trudeau has 
made it a key point of his public speeches - even admitting to 
smoking marijuana since his election to the House of Commons.

Nevertheless, Liberal party headquarters has been careful not to 
condone - or even acknowledge - the Emerys' planned tour.

"They've already said 'We aren't endorsing this'; I haven't reached 
out to them and they haven't reached out to us," said Ms. Emery.

Mr. Emery's support for the Liberals comes after a lifetime of varied 
political loyalties. A one-time member of the Libertarian Party of 
Canada and the Freedom Party of Canada, Mr. Emery is the founder of 
both the federal Marijuana Party and the B.C. Marijuana Party, and 
has mounted unsuccessful election bids for the House of Commons, the 
B.C. legislature and Vancouver City Hall.

He has also issued endorsements for the federal NDP and the B.C. 
Green Party, and has called Ayn Rand the "most profound influence in my life."

Originally from Kelowna, Ms. Emery has four previous political 
campaigns under her belt - including as a Vancouver-area Green Party 
candidate during the most recent B.C. election - and she maintains 
she is the more politically viable of the couple.

"There are Liberals who are uncomfortable with this, obviously ... 
but if they do that, they can look at my record; I have never said 
anything embarrassing or inflammatory," she said, adding "maybe I've 
said a few things that are uncomfortably too true, but I'm not like 
Marc used to be."

Most notably, in 2005 Mr. Emery called then Justice Minister Irwin 
Cotler a "Nazi Jew," a comment for which he later apologized.

The Liberal party did not respond to National Post requests for 
comment, although party sources confirmed that the Emerys' planned 
rallies were unsanctioned events.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom