Happy Planet juice and marijuana clearly don’t mix.
At least not according to Marc Emery, Canada’s so-called Prince of Pot and leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party. Emery is taking aim at Vision Vancouver mayoral nominee Gregor Robertson for the tough law-and-order stance on marijuana grow-ops he took earlier this month.
"At the local level, I am appalled that Gregor Robertson would say on the one hand he wants to legalize—and tax and regulate—marijuana, but until then he wants to round up as many grow-op growers of marijuana as possible," Emery told the Straight by phone.
Robertson’s position could propel Emery into a mayoral race for the third time, following campaigns in 1996 and 2002. This time, Emery said he is determined to act as a spoiler unless Robertson recants his comments "within 30 days".
"My 5,000 votes would sink him," Emery deadpanned, referring to the number of supporters he could call upon in a municipal election. "He’s got a very tightly controlled campaign. He’s pandering to the centrist voter. That kind of man disgusts me. I wouldn’t want the kind of man as mayor that is pandering from the get-go, before he is even elected. Usually the corruption only becomes obvious after they become elected, but already he is throwing away his principles by [talking about] rounding up grow-ops before he’s even in office, while at the same time saying it should be legal."
In a July 14 story in the Globe and Mail, Robertson was quoted as saying that Vancouver police should have more resources to "go after the grow-ops".
"There does need to be a real crackdown on grow ops and organized crime," Robertson said, "and police need resources and better co-ordination to do that."
Robertson did not return a call by the Straight ’s deadline.
When asked what he would do as mayor, Emery said he would encourage as much business investment and building development as possible. "That is one of the great things [Mayor] Sam Sullivan did," he said. "I would have supported him, by the way—my guy lost in the primaries."
Emery said he was disgusted with the three-month civic workers’ strike last year. He also asserted that the Canada Line is a waste of taxpayer money. Emery is on bail pending a hearing in February that will determine whether he is extradited to the U.S. to face charges of selling marijuana seeds over the Internet.