Pubdate: Fri, 15 Aug 2014
Source: Barrie Examiner (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014, Barrie Examiner
Author: Greg Van Moorsel
Page: 12
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


Marc Emery may think of himself as a marijuana messiah, leading the 
long-suffering to deliverance from pot laws they believe unfairly 
punish them and restrict their freedom to smoke up.

No stranger to ego, Emery may even believe he's the chosen cannabis crusader.

But Canada's self-styled "Prince of Pot" - just released from a U.S. 
prison, after doing 4 1/2 years for selling marijuana seeds into the 
U.S. from Vancouver - makes a poor martyr for the kind of electoral 
backlash he imagines he will now inspire against the federal 
Conservative government he vilifies.

No sooner was the B.C. man back across the border from Detroit, than 
he was vowing vengeance against the Tories.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he called a "tyrant." It's now Emery's 
mission to deliver votes to the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau, who 
supports legalizing marijuana.

Emery's wife, Jodie Emery, a fellow traveller on the crusade, wants 
to run for the Grits in Vancouver.

Tellingly, there was no Liberal advance party among the small circus 
of fans, and clouds of pot smoke, that greeted Emery as he held his 
first court on Canadian soil in years. No wonder.

For starters, while Emery is good at manufacturing his own publicity, 
once famously firing up a joint on the steps of the police station in 
London, Ont., where he ran a used book shop, and boasting how often 
he's been arrested, it's not at all clear he'd be an asset to any 
mainstream political party.

Further, while Canada has traditionally been more lenient than the 
U.S. on pot offenders, it's not clear voters here are prepared to go 
as far as to legalize weed, even if large numbers don't believe 
offenders should be saddled with criminal records for possession of 
small amounts.

Marijuana, after all, remains a controlled narcotic and there are no 
illegal factory grow-ops raising only small amounts of the stuff.

Finally, if Emery's anti-Tory push dovetailed with popular thinking, 
surely the obvious beneficiary - the Marijuana Party - would have 
done better than the scant 1,756 votes it won in the 2011 federal election.

Often, where there's political smoke, there's fire.

Here, there's only more smoke - irritating, but ineffectual.
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