Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 2015
Source: Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 The Lethbridge Herald
Author: Tijana Martin
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


Reality of Marc Emery's Time in Prison Was Eased by Various Donations

Marc Emery "the Prince of Pot" was in Lethbridge this past weekend to 
thank the community for its support.

On Aug. 12, 2014, Emery was released from a United States federal 
prison after serving his five-year sentence after he pleaded guilty 
to selling marijuana seeds from Canada to American customers from 1995-2005.

He was released after 54 months for good behaviour.

"That was the result of a brilliant fundraising event I had to raise 
for the cannabis movement ... by selling seeds to Americans and 
people around the world, I was able to give away about five million 
dollars to activist groups all across North America," said Emery.

While Emery was in prison, some Lethbridge residents organized 
fundraising events that contributed $6,000 to his commissary account 
in prison, according to Emery.

"The money that was raised by the people of Lethbridge at these 
Christmas fundraisers every year was just invaluable, plus it was an 
incredible morale booster when you're in prison to think that many 
people would show from just one community," said Emery.

Since being released, Emery has noticed a change in marijuana acceptance.

"In that four-and-a-half years of incarceration, the world went from 
having no legal (marijuana) states in America to now having five," said Emery.

And he feels that Canada will be quick to follow.

"Canada has a candidate for Prime Minister and his party that wants 
to legalize marijuana, so it's possible that even in Lethbridge, 
Alberta we could see legal marijuana by the end of this year.

"These are momentous times that I'm living in. I feel a good 
sacrifice was made that was worthwhile and the trade was very 
beneficial. If I would have had the opportunity to give up 
four-and-a-half years of my life in prison to gain what we have 
gained, then I would do that again in a flash.

"Even if Stephen Harper were re-elected, I think the Conservative 
government would still legalize marijuana because the United States 
is going to - you have seven states coming up next year with 
legalization on the ballots and it's likely to pass in at least five 
of them," he said.

Emery said he's sure that a medical marijuana dispensary will open up 
in Lethbridge some time this year, and vapour lounges as well.

While marijuana may still be legal, vapour lounges across the country 
have found a grey zone to operate and often establish themselves as 
retail shops or eateries.

"So by operating a lounge we don't really do anything illegal, we 
only allow people that are possessing it themselves to sit and 
congregate, because under the charter of rights people have the right 
to associate culturally with people."

In Vancouver, there are more than 60 dispensaries currently open 
which sell up to 40 different kinds of marijuana.

"I actually thought it would only be in my dreams that we would see 
those kinds of things, but they're happening right now in Vancouver," 
Emery said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom