Marc Emery free from prison, back in Canada, and taking aim at "afraid" politicians
Marc Emery has returned to Canada.
After spending almost five years in the United States incarcerated for selling marijuana seeds via mail, the Vancouver-based Prince of Pot is a free man.
On August 12, Emery immediately used waiting microphones to resume his work as a activist.
“Canadian politicians are the most gutless group of people I have ever seen,” he said at a news conference in Windsor, Ontario, convened just hours after his release. “They don’t want to bring up marijuana. They are afraid of it. After 45 years, really, they’re still afraid of it? Is this what we’ve got?...We are going to have to reclaim our democracy and get marijuana legalized next election.”
Emery left the custody of U.S. immigration officers and crossed the border from Detroit into Windsor, where he was reunited with his wife, Jodie. (It was just minutes before 4:20 p.m. local time.)
The couple plans to return to Vancouver on the morning of August 17, Jodie told the Straight in an August 10 interview. On that day, there’s a gathering planned for Victory Square across from the Cannabis Culture Headquarters at 307 West Hastings Street.
“I’m definitely excited,” she said. “A little stunned, almost.”
Reunions and celebrations will be followed by a trip abroad that will serve both as a vacation and an opportunity for the Emerys to take their calls for marijuana reform to an international stage.
The Straight last spoke with Emery in June. On the phone from Yazoo City Prison in Mississippi, he revealed political ambitions that he and Jodie shared. Emery explained that his wife would seek the federal Liberal nomination for Vancouver East and that he would play a supporting role in that venture.
“We’ll be trying to get young people out,” Emery 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.”
Emery and Jodie became vocal proponents of the Liberals when in 2012 party leader Justin Trudeau revealed he was a “huge supporter of decriminalization” and subsequently announced plans to legalize and regulate the drug. In a show of support, the Emerys have planned a 30-stop cross-country tour beginning in early September 2015, just ahead of the federal election scheduled for the following month.
About to do a press conference pic.twitter.com/FCrBW22r1A— Jodie Emery (@JodieEmery) August 12, 2014
Emery was never convicted of breaking Canadian law. The arrest that led to his incarceration occurred in 2005, when he was apprehended by Vancouver police officers working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Emery has long described himself as a political prisoner and maintained that he was persecuted for his work as an activist pushing for marijuana reform.
Asked if he was at all concerned that the marijuana issue could backfire and become a liability for the Liberals, Emery 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.
Emery claimed he has no plans to run for office, but he added that he expects politics to still consume the majority of his time.
“Getting rid of Stephen Harper and making sure Justin Trudeau is elected along with the Liberal party is a pretty major job,” he said. “Really, the only job that I’m going to have in the next year.”
Aug 12, 2014 at 7:51pm
Like that dreadful day I learnt they actually found
You guilty, my whole family and I support you Marc
Emery and your wife Jodie who hopefully runs for MP.Say what
It needs to be said , do what needs to be done, it's time .
Aug 12, 2014 at 8:35pm
Not sure if it's overexposure but getting tired of this ranting gnome. Yes the stuff should be decriminalized but the guillotine is beginning to look like a good option...or maybe just some duck tape on his yapper.
Aug 13, 2014 at 8:49am
Marijuana has an image problem and its right here staring us in the face. Can anyone please tell me what Marc has actually done to help move Canada towards decriminalization or legalization of Marijuana?
Aug 13, 2014 at 11:27am
The absolute last thing the Liberals need is these two nutbars campaigning for them. Marc was only ever in it for the money, and he will be back in jail again if he doesn't clean up his act.
Aug 14, 2014 at 10:11pm
I was once a strong supporter of Marc's but have since realized what him and a lot of other activists are doing to the image of cannabis. I don't want Marc Emery as the face of Marijuana legalization, Harper probably does tho. People are sick of seeing stoned smelly hippies blowing smoke in their faces. I would rather a person who is not high 24/7 that is constantly contradicting himself. Someone who is a responsible mature cannabis user with a professional character. Marc Emery has done enough for the legalization of marijuana and should NOT try to help the liberals. He should retire and be happy he is out of prison and that he has a wife that is less than half his age.
Aug 15, 2014 at 6:36am
Welcome back to Marc! I had a good laugh at the global news broadcast back in the early 2000's of Marc Emery's merry band of revellers heckling John Walters, the US Drug Czar, at a $1000 a table event. Priceless! However mindless and humourless the U.S. Drug Czar and DEA system is, that political entity of draconian lies akin to the worst fascism the world has ever known, creates felons, for a profit. And they came after Marc to show their power in Canada. There is still no debating. The Drug Czar rules the Feds in Canada and the U.S. And anyone who believes we have a democracy, better question why politicians would rather keep criminally sanctioned markets hush, hush than speak publicly about Cannabis. Let's face it, Marc is the voice for legalization, because no one else has the nerve to give up everything for the political cause.
See through the shills
Aug 15, 2014 at 1:43pm
Mark Emery is in this for profits folks and nothing more. He has done less to advance decriminalization or legalization than every employed pot smoker who feel no need to hide her/his enjoyment of weed. Speaking tour before going home after years in prison? The guy knows he is the only commodity left he can sell, and now that he is out his partner will find him a somehow less appealing choice.
Aug 17, 2014 at 3:41pm
A paltry gathering of a few deadbeats in Victory Square - I imagine it's not the grand hero homecoming to the masses he imagined all those years in prison.
Like most - i'm disturbed about Canada handing a citizen over to the USA as a politically motivated statement.
Considering the large majority of Canadians don't support legislation to legalize - I think this showing is the statement the Liberals needed to sever ties with the Emery's.
In typical Liberal fashion - sit on the fence and see which way the wind blows before making a move or statement.
No way does Jody get the nomination. Justin is gutless.