Pubdate: Thu, 14 Aug 2014
Source: Georgia Straight, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2014 The Georgia Straight
Author: Travis Lupick
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


After spending almost five years in the United States incarcerated 
for selling marijuana seeds via mail, the Vancouver-based Prince of 
Pot is a free man.

On August 12, Emery immediately used waiting microphones to resume 
his work as a activist.

"Canadian politicians are the most gutless group of people I have 
ever seen," he said at a news conference in Windsor, Ontario, 
convened just hours after his release. "They don't want to bring up 
marijuana. They are afraid of it. After 45 years, really, they're 
still afraid of it? Is this what we've got?...We are going to have to 
reclaim our democracy and get marijuana legalized next election."

Emery left the custody of U.S. immigration officers and crossed the 
border from Detroit into Windsor, where he was reunited with his 
wife, Jodie. (It was just minutes before 4:20 p.m. local time.)

The couple plans to return to Vancouver on the morning of August 17, 
Jodie told the Straight in an August 10 interview. On that day, 
there's a gathering planned for Victory Square across from the 
Cannabis Culture Headquarters at 307 West Hastings Street.

"I'm definitely excited," she said. "A little stunned, almost."

Reunions and celebrations will be followed by a trip abroad that will 
serve both as a vacation and an opportunity for the Emerys to take 
their calls for marijuana reform to an international stage.

The Straight last spoke with Emery in June. On the phone from Yazoo 
City Prison in Mississippi, he revealed political ambitions that he 
and Jodie shared. Emery explained that his wife would seek the 
federal Liberal nomination for Vancouver East and that he would play 
a supporting role in that venture.

"We'll be trying to get young people out," Emery said. "It's really 
important to motivate them to go out and vote for the Liberal party, 
because they could also split the vote between the Greens and the 
NDP, and I really don't want to see that happen."

Emery and Jodie became vocal proponents of the Liberals when in 2012 
party leader Justin Trudeau revealed he was a "huge supporter of 
decriminalization" and subsequently announced plans to legalize and 
regulate the drug. In a show of support, the Emerys have planned a 
30-stop cross-country tour beginning in early September 2015, just 
ahead of the federal election scheduled for the following month.

Emery was never convicted of breaking Canadian law. The arrest that 
led to his incarceration occurred in 2005, when he was apprehended by 
Vancouver police officers working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement 
Agency. Emery has long described himself as a political prisoner and 
maintained that he was persecuted for his work as an activist pushing 
for marijuana reform.

Asked if he was at all concerned that the marijuana issue could 
backfire and become a liability for the Liberals, Emery argued that 
Trudeau has taken a position that has growing support from the public.

"For the first time in 40 years, the majority of Canadians are highly 
sympathetic to my point of view," he said.

Emery claimed he has no plans to run for office, but he added that he 
expects politics to still consume the majority of his time.

"Getting rid of Stephen Harper and making sure Justin Trudeau is 
elected along with the Liberal party is a pretty major job," he said. 
"Really, the only job that I'm going to have in the next year."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom