Pubdate: Fri, 22 Sep 2017
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Coast Reporter
Author: Bill Good


Marc and Jodie Emery are in trouble with the law again. Toronto police
arrested them recently at Pearson International Airport on their way
to Spain. Ten years ago I would have said, "Tough luck, you broke the
law." The so-called Prince of Pot made a name for himself defying the
law and thumbing his nose at authorities in his single-minded attempt
to make marijuana acceptable, and legal.

His arrogance cost him four years in U.S. prisons, but he did his time
and returned to Canada determined to continue his crusade along with
his wife Jodie.

Times have changed though, and one could argue Mr. Emery has been at
the forefront of that change. A majority of Canadians support
legalization. We have a prime minister who publicly admitted sharing a
joint. He won a majority government on the promise of legalizing marijuana.

It's taking a long time to make that happen, and technically it's
still illegal to possess or sell marijuana for non-medical purposes,
but look around. In some places there are almost as many pot shops as
there are Starbucks.

Most of those shops pay their municipality for a business licence and,
despite the product still not being legal, the owners clearly feel
they have a wink, wink, nudge, nudge approval of local

For a long time I've favoured legalization for a number of reasons.
Prohibition hasn't worked. The cash cow that could come from the taxes
the feds would collect can pay for a lot of election promises. Despite
real legal dangers, millions of Canadians have chosen to use
marijuana, often instead of alcohol.

The cost of enforcement has been a complete waste. Hundreds of
millions of dollars have been wasted on police, and the courts.
Thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens have wound up with
criminal records and spent time in jail.

I don't think marijuana is benign. There are health risks, and the
concern over driving while stoned is real. None of that goes away by
making it illegal.

Does it really make sense enforcing a law that is scheduled to be
ended? What would make sense to me would be for the government to
clear the way for legally approved companies to sell regulated and
approved products to those current storefronts that must be getting
much of their product from underground and illegal producers.

Back to where this began. Why Marc and Jody Emery? Have police taken
it upon themselves to harass this couple because of their high
profile? Are Marc and Jodie Emery doing anything those hundreds of
others of weed store operators aren't doing?

Justin Trudeau gave millions of Canadians hope they'd no longer have
to break the law in order to engage in what they consider to be at
least as harmless an activity as smoking cigarettes or indulging in a
glass of cabernet at dinner.

I believe far more Canadians voted for Mr. Trudeau's marijuana promise
than for electoral reform or daily mail delivery. In my mind this is a
promise he must keep, and enforcement should be on hold.
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