Marc Emery: B.C. Liberals and NDP show their cowardice on marijuana prohibition
The B.C. Marijuana Party fielded a full slate of 79 candidates in the 2001 B.C. provincial election and 45 candidates in the 2005 provincial election to advocate the normalization (legalization) and regulated sale and production of marijuana and its derivatives.
In 2009 we endorsed the B.C. Green Party, still the only mainstream party to have legalization of cannabis as official party policy. In this election, the BCMP will be running two candidates, enough to maintain the official party registration with Elections B.C., but in this election I regard the B.C. Green Party as the party to support if you wish to end prohibition at the provincial level.
My wife, Jodie Emery, Canada’s most prominent spokesperson for ending marijuana prohibition, is running as the B.C. Green Party candidate in Vancouver-West End.
As leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party, I endorse the Sensible B.C. marijuana decriminalization campaign by Dana Larsen to gather 400,000 signatures this autumn to put a referendum before the voters of British Columbia to end all arrests and public expenditures on marijuana possession offenses. The Sensible Policing Act is essentially a voter initiative to decriminalize marijuana. Annually in B.C., over 3,800 people are charged with marijuana possession and 1,200 convicted, and there are over 16,000 police encounters. You should lobby the candidates in your riding this election as to where they stand in regards the proposed Sensible Policing Act initiative.
Both the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. NDP are completely useless in expressing the will of the people of B.C. regarding marijuana prohibition. Virtually 70 percent of British Columbians would prefer a taxed and regulated regime of marijuana distribution compared to the prohibition we have in B.C. today. The B.C. NDP and B.C. Liberals both have MLAs in the legislature who do believe marijuana should be legal, but virtually all remain silent about the issue, or they have chosen to speak out only after deciding not to run for office in this election.
As its leader is incarcerated in a U.S. federal prison specifically for advocating and paying for the legalization of marijuana (see statement by DEA chief Karen Tandy), the BCMP is only running two candidates to maintain our party registration. However, should no progress be made in British Columbia between now and the next B.C. election in May 2017, we will certainly run a full slate once again. I will be released from the U.S. penal system and returned to Canada no later than July 2014.
Any B.C. government wanting to express the will of the citizens of B.C. should unilaterally legalize marijuana under the health portfolio of the B.C. Ministry of Health. A B.C. government should rescind its contract with the RCMP as an official provincial policing agency. An ombudsman with cabinet-level authority needs to be appointed to monitor the actions of police and prisons in B.C. B.C. has notoriously derelict policing and prison accountability. Typically the attorney general’s office and solicitor general’s office act as apologists for the law and police, respectively, and are shills for the existing law and police establishment, not the citizens.
Believe me, I can’t wait to return to my beloved province of British Columbia to kick establishment ass once again. B.C. is still paralyzed by the usual establishment inertia, corruption, power-mongering, and authoritarianism that bedevils so much of Canada’s governments, while our politicians exhibit the usual acute cowardice in any regard to reforming the rotten system.
Mar 25, 2013 at 3:51pm
It is archaic to not recognize certain things about marijuana. There are noted health applications, particularly in pain treatment and in helping cancer patients and chemo treatments. We are so behind and so immature on this subject. Tax loss is huge.
Rick in Richmond
Mar 25, 2013 at 4:17pm
Perhaps the reason that the 'corrupt' NDP doesn't take it on as an issue is because it is NOT an issue.
Marijuana use has been, de facto, legal for years in BC. You have to be a total idiot, blowing smoke in the face of an RCMP officer, even to get caught these days. Why provoke them? Just be discreet. It's easy. It really is.
Hundreds of people show up every year at the VAG and light up on camera. The VPD stands around and does nothing. It is hardly a police priority.
Although Marc Emery has built his life around marijuana, for the rest of us it's no more than a harmless pastime, and way less dangerous than alcohol.
Medicinal marijuana is widely available, and has been for some while. Its 'pharmacies' are everywhere. Another opened on The Drive over the weekend.
The NDP has to deal with REAL issues: the health system, and how to finance it. Transit and roads. Public education. The environment and pipelines. Managed growth and urban density. Saving ALR land. Gun control. Gangs. Unemployment. Housing, public and private. BC Hydro. Public debt. New clean industries.
You know... REAL issues.
Mar 25, 2013 at 5:04pm
Ya, real issues, that a huge influx of cash would help solve, legalize it and spend the cash on health care, fixing infrsatructure, housing, fighting crime, all the real issues!
Mar 25, 2013 at 5:07pm
I came here to say what Rick said but since he did it better than I could.
Emery deserves no more attention; it was his own stupidity and greed that got him jailed.
Mar 25, 2013 at 7:12pm
The issues of youth use/abuse and dependency are issues that must be addressed and the continuation of prohibition makes it difficult for teachers to deliver quality science, health and evidenced based drug education for students in B.C. Cannabis policies have not been addresses adequately, in fact we have none. Our teachers are reluctant to talk about cannabis in the classroom and the RCMP, (The Odd Squads) are the messengers of failed drug laws as they continue to delivery drug education in our public schools We must begin to take responsibility and give back the teaching of drug education to health care professionals and teachers. We must support the full legalization/regulation/taxation of cannabis. Write/phone your MLA and ask what their position is on this issue. Support Sensible BC and support Educators for Sensible Drug Policy www.facebook.com/EFSDP and get law officers out of our classrooms so our teachers can get on with their jobs of educating our youth through science and health. Drug education has always been a health issue, it is not a criminal issue. Let's take the crime out of cannabis and keep our youth safe.
Mar 25, 2013 at 7:13pm
Actually, marijuana possession busts have risen 30% across Canada since Harper was elected PM. In BC, possession busts have doubled in that time.
Just because most pot smokers don't go to jail doesn't mean the war on marijuana isn't an expensive, destructive failure. BC police are spending over $10 million a year just to bust and convict pot smokers.
Sure, there's a few dispensaries operating in Vancouver, which is due to the bravery and hard work of a dedicated few, including Marc Emery. It didn't just happen by itself. And dispensaries across BC still get raided on a regular basis. Several dispensary operators are coming up for trials this year.
And let's not forget Harper's mandatory minimums, which give growing a few marijuana plants some of the harshest punishments in the criminal code. New prisons are being built across Canada to accommodate the expected influx of pot growers and small time drugs dealers.
So yah, if all you care about it is whether you personally can get away with smoking some marijuana, then everything is great. But if you're concerned about your tax dollars, or civil rights, or medicinal access, or living in a safe society, or anything like that, then marijuana is still a very important issue which affects everyone in this province.
Mar 25, 2013 at 7:22pm
As long as the American government object to the legalization and taxation of marijuana it will never be legalized.The USA still really calls the shots and Canada has no back bone to stand up to them.It just like our oil and gas , when the USA run out the USA will just come and take it, if we have not already sold most of Canada and its assets to the Chinese first.more than 1/3 of Canada now it control by foreign interests.
Mar 25, 2013 at 7:32pm
@Bagman - Emery is anything but stupid and the man who was instrumental in Marc's abduction to the U.S. NOW says pot should be legalized. Marc will go down in history as a forward thinking leader who was unjustly treated as so many are.
Phillip in Colorado
Mar 25, 2013 at 8:26pm
We love you Marc...Respect for being a kick ass dude...I'll be up to Vancouver when you're released buddy!
Mar 25, 2013 at 8:44pm
I add that emerys own wife is not one of the supposed two running and is a hypocrite not screaming that the greens are now for decrim and not legalization
emery is a joke and has nothing to do with the real effort to legalize and the party is merely a facade to conceal his store under political partys protection
He and larsen should be ashamed of themselves to all of a sudden pretend decrim is something we want
As the person who has brought legal cannabis policy before the ndp the greens and the liberals federally I laugh at this megalomaniacs jail rantings like a delusional cheerleader
I must post this on my own pages to publicize my views as emery has the straight in his back pocket for old advertising dollars spent while he gouged americans for seeds as the highest priced seed pimp on the planet
I have to say jail has not sobered him up and he is still delusional about who does what and his place in it all
He must miss the $800,000 a year he used to take for himself and his 5 wives I guess but all the same he is a complete laugh to those of us doing the real work
For the real effort