Liberals woo cannabis queen Jodie Emery as a secret weapon ahead of the 2015 election

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One of Canada’s best-known marijuana activists says she’s ready to make a leap into mainstream politics with the federal Liberal Party.

In a telephone interview, Jodie Emery was quick to note she has yet to file nomination papers, but she said it’s her understanding that she’s in the running for Vancouver East.

“They approached me,” she said. “I am officially a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and I have been asked to put my name in to take a shot at it.”

If she does receive the Liberal nomination for the election scheduled for October 2015, Emery conceded that she would stand little chance of defeating NDP MP Libby Davies, who has represented Vancouver East since 1997. Emery explained that her candidacy would instead serve to signal that the Liberals are serious about changing the way that Canada deals with cannabis.

“The Emerys are synonymous with marijuana legalization, so this would be like an endorsement,” she explained. “It would basically be to say, ‘The Liberals support legalization.’ ”

The entrepreneur and former candidate for the B.C. Green Party spoke to the Georgia Straight less than one month ahead of the scheduled release of her husband, Marc Emery, from Yazoo City Prison in Mississippi, where he’s serving the final month of a five-year sentence for selling cannabis seeds.

In a telephone interview, Marc told the Straight that he’s ruled out running for office himself and instead will throw his full support behind Jodie and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau.

“I’m sure she’ll be seeking the nomination,” Marc said. “The Liberals need someone with Jodie’s national profile on that issue [marijuana] to point out that they are totally serious.”

The Liberal Party would only say that it’s too early to comment on possible candidates for 2015. According to B.C. campaign cochair Bruce Young, details will likely begin to be made public in the fall.

In November 2012, Trudeau revealed that he was a “huge supporter of decriminalization”. According to Jodie, the Liberal Party has since proven that it’s ready to see Canada legalize and regulate the drug.

Marc described Trudeau’s position as “courageous and unprecedented”.

“Normally, they all wait until they’ve retired out of politics before they advocate the legalization route,” he explained. “Justin Trudeau is the only leader of a Canadian political party with any chance of forming the government who’s ever done this. I thought it was pretty brave of him.”

Marc is scheduled for release on July 10. On that day, prison officials will turn him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ahead of his pending return to Canada. It’s unknown how long he’ll remain in ICE custody. Marc said it could take days, weeks, or more than a month, depending on the pace at which his case is processed.

His return to Canada will therefore likely happen in the late summer. Public parties are planned for Toronto and then Vancouver, he said, after which he and Jodie will travel abroad for speaking engagements and a vacation.

By late 2014, Marc said, he’ll be back at work in Vancouver at Cannabis Culture Headquarters on West Has­tings Street. And by mid 2015, he and Jodie will be in full campaign mode heading into the federal election .

In addition to Jodie’s possible run for Vancouver East, Marc said he has planned a 30-day cross-country tour beginning September 5, 2015.

“We’ll be trying to get young people out,” Marc emphasized. “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.”

Marc argued that people need to vote strategically to defeat Stephen Harper and the Conservatives and that the best way to do that is to back Trudeau and the Liberals.

“There is a time when you have to make decisions about what’s really important, and stopping Stephen Harper and replacing his government is the ultimate priority,” he said.

Asked if he’s at all concerned that the marijuana issue could backfire and become a liability for the Liberals, Marc 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. “So, hopefully, Jodie will be able to bring voters from across Canada into the Liberal Party and see people vote for them.”

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JASON MARK SULYMA

Jun 18, 2014 at 2:31pm

STONERS DON'T VOTE

#SCIENCE

@JASON MARK SULYMA

Jun 18, 2014 at 4:38pm

Amen. Stoners don't believe in corporations---drug users are supposed to be smarter than this.

And it's all garbage because nothing will be done about _______ which is a far more important drug than cannabis. HST called cannabis a "stupor" drug. ______ has done far more for far more people than cannabis---but cannabis is a big money maker, the beer of drugs.

Meathead

Jun 18, 2014 at 7:53pm

Well, if Jodi does manage to get elected I'm certain she will do far more for her East Van constituents than Libby Davies has ever done. Plus she is far more attractive to boot!

shepsil

Jun 18, 2014 at 8:20pm

Talk about a "one issue"candidate!

Bob

Jun 18, 2014 at 8:32pm

Ahahahahahaha! The Emerey's have no more power. They have nothing. So they contradict their own politics and pander to the very same Party they used to call hypocrites just a few months back.

Brian Kelly

Jun 18, 2014 at 9:37pm

Name calling and stereotyping. It's all that prohibitionists have left to offer society since virtually every piece of marijuana propaganda out there has been thoroughly debunked, and completely dismissed by a smarter than prohibitionists thought public.

Nobody can provide a real reason to continue the "War on Marijuana" because there isn't one.

You know, a little live and let live goes a real long way in insuring a long, stress and anger free life. If you don't like marijuana, then by all means don't use it. Allow others to make their own choices about marijuana.

The government has no business attempting to legislate morality by creating victim-less "crimes" because it simply doesn't work and has already cost the taxpayers over a trillion dollars.

Bearzerker

Jun 18, 2014 at 10:25pm

I still cant believe that Marc Emery was thrown into a USA jail for selling seeds which he was doing in order promote his pro legalisation cause... under the extradition treaty the USA and Canada would not deport political activists to each others countries so why did Canada under the Harper regime do this to a politically active campaigner... the whole Emery file & how it was handled and and what they did to this family is disgusting... the war on pot is wrong and is a lie... medicine is a decision between a doctor and patient and recreational use should be monitored in the same way alcohol is...

Canada Dale

Jun 18, 2014 at 11:16pm

I think Jodie stands for a big refreshing change in
The Canadian Liberal Party and her riding
A much needed change
So all the power be to her to do so
That being said I do not believe that any political party will ever succeed with

Cannabis legalization as one of thier main party platforms
Perhaps Jodie will change that and possibly set the path for full cannabis legalization
if she succeeds she will have 4 yrs to deliver the full legalization message
she will definitely rewrite history if given the full opportunity to do so
I believe also that Jodie has several other issues other than cannabis to share within our new future government in power as the Tory time has elapsed
Jodie will stand strong to all of her commitments to us and the Liberal party
We who elect her should stand proudly behind her and the bright positive change in power she will stand for
I know she will succeed and lead Canadians all to a brighter new and better tomorrow
she will provide the change that all Canadians need to restore thier faith in a governing power

Russell Barth

Jun 19, 2014 at 3:26am

The Emerys are being played. The Liberals will never legalize, they are using the cause to appear sensible on the topic, and all they really offer is Prohib-Lite.

If you want to see how the Liberal "legal" pot scheme is going to work out, look no further than tobacco. "Oh we can't sell pot to kids in corner stores where we sell Red Bull."

No problem, some kid will sell them pot out BEHIND the corner store.

Arthur Vandelay

Jun 19, 2014 at 5:35am

Advice to the Liberal Party of Canada: Canadians vote with their wallets. You've got a long road to hoe against the CPC because they have the street cred on creating economic opportunity and and delivering low taxes. Dial the focus on the pot issue way back and start getting Justin discussing meat and potato economic matters. Its a year out from election day and all Justin is known for now is that he is pro pot. I vote Liberal federally and even I'm starting to wonder if Justin has enough game to be PM. All my less political friends are even more concerned. Nominating Jodie Emery in an unwinable riding would seem to be falling right into the Conservative definition of Justin for little benefit.

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