Marc Emery returns to Vancouver and urges supporters to legalize marijuana in federal election

Vancouver's most famous marijuana crusader returned home today to a sea of supporters at Victory Square.

With the words "Marc Emery is in the house", a crowd rushed to the north end of the square to catch a glimpse, a hug, or a handshake with the entrepreneur and activist who spent more than four years in six U.S. prisons.

A week ago, Emery returned across the border to Windsor, Ontario. Today, he made his first appearance at home in Vancouver.

Fittingly, it was across the street from the offices of his businesses, including Cannabis Culture and Pot TV, which were operated in his absence by his wife Jodie.

"I take a lot of pride in how she has excelled in the last four years and grown and dealt with the challenges of business, of having me away, of media, of representing me and our people," Emery told a crowd of about 250 people. "And I would have to say she was so capable, so talented, and I really want to thank you Jodie for being amazing and giving me all the sustenance I needed to cope with prison."

Marc Emery promoted his wife Jodie's bid for a Liberal nomination.
Charlie Smith

Emery talked about how he met outstanding musicians in prison who taught him how to play bass guitar.

"Fortunately, I never had an unkind word said to me by inmates in four-and-a-half years," he said.

Emery maintained that the United States "has a real problem" with sentences that go on for far too long.

"Most inmates were doing 20, 30, 40 years for drugs," he said. "One in eight were doing life without parole simply for doing drugs."

Much of his speech, however, was devoted to encouraging his supporters to vote in the next federal election, which is scheduled for October 19, 2015.

Emery called this "legalization day". He said that the Liberals under Justin Trudeau are the only one of the big three parties to promise legalization of marijuana.

Marc Emery referred to October 19, 2015, as legalization day.
Charlie Smith

Jodie Emery has already announced that she's seeking the Liberal nomination in Vancouver East to run against veteran NDP MP Libby Davies.

As an MP, Davies often spoke about the injustice of extraditing Emery to the United States to serve a lengthy prison sentence.

"If you know people in Vancouver East, please ask them to support Jodie in her nomination quest...because the Liberal party is the only party that's advocating legalization," Emery stated. "The NDP certainly will not and the Conservatives oppose us to the death."

Emery also promised that he and his supporters will be reminding people in a big way that the next federal election day offers the promise of preventing people from ever being arrested again for possessing or smoking marijuana.

'You can believe we're going to have posters, banners, flags, stamps, [and] stickers saying 'October 19 is legalization day. Just show up'," he said.

He also called upon people to encourage their friends and even their grandparents to vote Liberal.

"We even get to define what legalization means because if we can talk it up and tell people, 'Here's what we need', they will know what they have to deliver," Emery said. "I think that's really important."

Marc Emery is supporting the Liberals in the next federal election.
Charlie Smith

Prior to appearing at Victory Square, his friend and supporter David Malmo-Levine told the crowd that Emery was extradited because he heckled former U.S. drug czar John Walters during a speech he gave in Vancouver.

David Malmo-Levine praised Emery for not being afraid of going to jail.
Charlie Smith

Emery bought a table at the November 2002 Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon at the Sheraton Wall Centre.

"That attack on the drug czar, that attack on his dignity, led to the arrest of Marc Emery for selling seeds, which led to him doing four years and two months for seeds," Malmo-Levine claimed. "For flower seeds. Nobody went to jail in alcohol prohibition for grape seeds, but Marc Emery went to jail for flower seeds, for cannabis seeds, during this prohibition. Actually, it was for insulting the drug czar that he got four years and two months in jail."

Marc Emery rips into former U.S. drug czar John Walters.

Emery said that he lived in the present tense during his prison years because there was no point drawing upon the past and he believed that the future would take care of itself.

"So I forgot how beautiful Jodie smells and I forgot how wonderful her skin feels," he said. "I was occasionally reminded in the visitation room how nice it was to kiss her."

Now that he's a free man, Emery revealed that he's smoking 15 to 20 joints per day. 

An activist known as Landlord brought his cannabis flag.
Charlie Smith
Comments (12) Add New Comment
John David Bourgeois
Remember when Jean Chrétien said, in reference to his move to decriminalize marijuana, "Don't light up yet"? John Waters and the U.S. did not like the idea of Canada decriminalizing pot. The United States tried to squash the Canadian Cannabis Movement. John Waters, in this video, said "we're not trying to tell Canadians what to do". The exact opposite is true! That's exactly what they're were, and probably still are trying to do. They threatened Chrétien with shutting down the border and who knows what else. John Waters most certainly had a personal vendetta against Emery, and that probably did play a role in his being targeted by the D.E.A.
Rating: -2
Marc Emery
I agree with Marc Emery.
Rating: +7
Howdy Doody's overexposure on this sole issue is going to help Harper get re-elected.
Rating: +8
Well if he is smoking 15 to 20 joints a day of bc bud it's a wonder he can even stand up let alone speak.
Rating: +20
Yeah ...
I'm probably going to be concerned with other issues, like my children's education, taxes, FACTA, economic strength, stable jobs, interest rates and foreign policy- to name a few. The rest of the country doesn't care half as much as you weed-obsessed nuts in BC.
Rating: -4
Shill Spotter
Mark Emery is a profiteer who has done less for normalizing weed use than every pot smoker who holds a job and gets on with life. Marijuana as a choice is great but as a "lifestyle" is tragic & sad. "Activists" & potheads wearing ponchos stinking of patchouli, weed & BO are the reason it has taken so long to shift attitudes towards acceptance. It has taken decades for society to comprehend that being a pot smoker doesn't make an individual any more or less of an air thief than any other vice but when people like Emery & the residue of deadheads are the spokespeople it is a tough sell.
Rating: +10
Arc Memery
Back up to 15 to 20 joints a day? Yech! That is fucking creepy. Why are we worshiping someone who obviously has a major drug problem?
Rating: 0
a friendly reminder that those weed-obsessed "activists" and "patchouli drenched potheads" are fighting for the #1 treatment of cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and a whole host of other major diseases. so let's tone down the reefer madness-era stereotyping and brush up on the news, shall we?
Rating: -6
The Liberals are lying to you. Just like when Trudeau Sr. ignored the recommendations of the Le Dain Commission (which he had appointed). Just like when Trudeau Sr. promised legalization in 1980, then promptly forgot about it post-election. Just like they lied in 1993 about not signing NAFTA, getting rid of the GST, and protecting the social safety net, which they then gleefully destroyed at a speed that made Mulroney look like a bleeding heart socialist.
Rating: +5
Uneducated Trolls
Educate yourself before commenting!
Rating: -12
East Sider
This clown gets WAAAAY too much attention. Just another burnout sent to jail for breaking the law, crying all the way the little pussy. There are many more important problems in today's world requiring attention. Pot legalization, not that I disagree with it, is at the bottom of the list I would think.
Rating: -7
Emery and his band of die hard activists won't like this, but if legalization is the goal, then they should probably stay the hell away from the federal election.

Electoral politics is not Emery's forte - he has not one idea how to operate in that environment, and he has no clue how to "stay on message" and the discipline required to actually win an election. Getting publicity is not getting votes

The federal NDP learned in 2009 that "working with Emery" really means "give me a platform to let me say what I want, and the hell with your other political concerns".

The man is team player, provided that the team only has one player.

The other problem is that Emery only knows how to preach to the converted - he isn't going to drive middle class, suburban voters to the Liberals, or anyone else (and those are the voters the Liberals and/or NDP need to toss Harper out) because his idea of legalization is not congruent with others more modest views.

Emery brought the issue to the mainstream political discussion, and deserves credit for it, but when it comes to electoral politics, he is a BCHL player who should not be on the ice with the NHL players.

As Paul Krugman said about Occupy Wall Street, "If you want to get the middle class to support you, at some point you have to put away the drum circles and speak to them on their level"

Mom and Dad in the 'burbs, who may think pot should be legal, are not going to be convinced to move on to legalization by seeing Emery and the die hard activists smoking four foot long joints in public and video taping themselves driving around town dropping LSD and smoking joints.

The simply fact that the federal Liberals are already putting daylight between themselves and the Emery crew is all one really needs to know to see that they want him far, far away during the election.

Then there is that whole "the hell with public health care, let old people die" Emeryism from a few years ago, and a whole host of other skeletons in the closet, that I am sure the Liberals cant wait to have attached to them should the bring him on board officially

I really think, and worry, that watching the federal Liberals try to stay away from him during the 2015 federal election will be the gift that keeps giving to Harper
Rating: +11
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