Pubdate: Thu, 07 Aug 2014
Source: Packet & Times (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 Orillia Packet and Times
Author: Jessica Murphy
Page: D1


In Politics: Ground shifting rapidly on pot prohibition

WASHINGTON - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau might have an ally in
Canada's Prince of Pot - whether he likes it or not.

Allen St. Pierre - executive director of the National Organization for
the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the oldest pro-legalization group in the
U.S. - knows Marc Emery from their time fighting pot laws. He says
Emery's likely itching to return to the fray after serving time in
U.S. prison for marijuana distribution.

"I dare say that putting him in jail for five years did not reform him
in the slightest. It only agitated him to the point where I think
getting Mr. Trudeau elected as a reformer is going to be the singular
thing he focuses on the most," St. Pierre said.

Both Emery and his wife say they're interested in running federally
for the Liberals. The party has so far kept its distance.

But St. Pierre sees Emery throwing his support behind Trudeau

"You could have a partnership between a pro-marijuana publication
owner and a major political candidate. It's like Mrs. Clinton being
backed by High Times," he said.

For her part, Hillary Clinton has said she supports medical marijuana,
but is taking a wait-and-see approach to legalization.

With the ground shifting rapidly on marijuana prohibition, candidates
in major elections on both sides of the border won't be able to dodge
the issue.

In the U.S., Alaska and Oregon are considering joining Colorado and
Washington in legalizing pot. About 30% of Americans now live in
jurisdictions with some form of decriminalization.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is also weighing a 2016
presidential bid, is critical of current drug laws and has called for
mandatory minimums for pot to be repealed, but he isn't in favour of
legalizing the drug.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who's openly considering another run for the
Republican nomination, is in favour of decriminalization.
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MAP posted-by: Matt