Today (July 9) is the official end of Marc Emery’s five-year sentence for selling marijuana seeds to customers in the U.S.
To mark the occasion, a “smoky celebration” is planned for 4 p.m. at Cannabis Culture Headquarters at 307 West Hastings Street.
However, Vancouver’s Prince of Pot isn’t actually scheduled for release until tomorrow (July 10), at which point he will be transferred from Yazoo City Prison in Mississippi into the custody of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. (Yazoo doesn’t release inmates on Wednesdays.)
How long Emery spends in the hands of border security is entirely up to that bureaucracy. His wife, Jodie Emery, previously told the Straight that the couple expects to be reunited in Windsor, Ontario, in the late summer. Past precedents suggest it’s possible the transfer might not be completed until as late as sometime in September.
Speaking to the Straight from Yazoo City Prison in June, Emery said he plans to return to political activism almost as soon as he’s back in Canada.
But first things first. There are public parties planned for Toronto and then Vancouver, Emery noted. And then he and Jodie will be travelling abroad, on a speaking tour through Europe and a bit of a vacation. A second trip planned for 2015 is expected to take them to Jamaica, Uruguay, Argentina, and South Africa.
By that time, Canada will be preparing for the 2015 federal election, which Emery said will see him and Jodie make a 30-stop cross-country tour beginning in early September.
We’ll be trying to get young people out,” he 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.”
In recent years, the Emerys have become vocal supporters of the Liberals and party leader Justin Trudeau.
On June 18, the Straight reported the Liberals are considering Jodie as their candidate for Vancouver East, a pick that would serve as a strong signal the party is serious about reforming how Canada deals with marijuana.
Emery said he has no plans to run for office himself.
“Getting rid of Stephen Harper and making sure Justin Trudeau is elected along with the Liberal party is a pretty major job,” Emery said. "Really, the only job that I’m going to have in the next year.”