Marc and Jodie Emery arrests show the New Prohibition is alive and well under Justin Trudeau

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Prior to the 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada promised to "legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana".

      "We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework," the party pledged. "We will create a federal/provincial/territorial task force, and with input from experts in public health, substance abuse, and law enforcement, will design a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied."

      What Justin Trudeau didn't say at the time was that two Vancouver residents who've endured tremendous hardship battling the ineffective war on drugs could face life sentences in jail under his rule.

      Trudeau also didn't say that this could come for operating marijuana dispensaries that kept cannabis out of the hands of children, employed Canadians, and generated tax revenue for federal and provincial authorities.

      Today's arrests of Marc and Jodie Emery at Toronto's Pearson International Airport is something that should concern all Canadians.

      They should press MPs, senators, MLAs, and municipal politicians why so many police resources are being devoted to bringing down the couple just as marijuana is about to be legalized?

      Aren't there higher priorities for the Toronto and Vancouver police departments, such as the fentanyl and drug-overdose epidemic that took 914 lives in B.C. last year?

      And what about all those unsolved murders?

      Maybe it's because, as Marc Emery says, the Trudeau government is not actually legalizing marijuana. It's merely substituting the Old Prohibition with the New Prohibition, which will offer a financial bonanza to licensed producers at the expense of storefront operations.

      The saddest thing of all has been the silence from federal politicians.

      In the past when Marc Emery was sentenced to five years in a U.S. jail for selling cannabis seeds (yes, you read that correctly), Vancouver MPs like Libby Davies and Ujjal Dosanjh spoke publicly against this travesty. Even today in retirement, Davies commented on the inappropriate use of police resources to bring down the Emerys.

      But so far, I haven't heard anything from the six MPs who represent Vancouver nowadays in the House of Commons.

      Nor have I heard anything from the so-called libertarian in the Conservative leadership race, Maxime Bernier.

      Of course, they would probably say that they can't comment because this matter is before the courts.

      But let's get real. People are dying every day from fentanyl in Canada.

      So why are the authorities cracking down on the sale of a relatively harmless plant being consumed by adults, some of whom are looking for relief for their pain and suffering?

      It doesn't make sense.

      In recent years, the Supreme Court of Canada has found on more than one occasion that the police overstepped their bounds and violated Canadians' constitutional rights in their mania to crack down on marijuana consumed by sick people to ease their symptoms.

      Canada's highest court has thrown out charges in the case of a man growing marijuana and in the sale of edibles.

      The Trudeau government may want to give licensed producers a monopoly over the sale of cannabis at the expense of storefront retailers. But that doesn't necessarily mean the courts will allow this to occur.

      That's just one of many reasons why this case involving the Emerys warrants our attention.

      The couple has always conducted their civil disobience peacefully. Marc Emery has willingly gone to jail in support of his beliefs.

      He's a clever man and he undoubtedly knows that if the Trudeau government turns him into a martyr, it will only end up advancing his cause.

      It happened when he was imprisoned in the United States. And it occurs every time he's jailed in Canada.

      Mahatma Gandhi also recognized this when he was fighting British rule over India.

      In the end, the British got tired of all difficulty of maintaining the Raj amid so much rancour and simply gave up.

      Eventually, the Canadian government will come to the same conclusion when it comes to outlawing storefront marijuana shops.