The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Supporters light up as 'Prince of Pot' returns to Canada after U.S. sentence

  • Print
Marc Emery receives a hug from his wife Jodie at the border crossing in Windsor, Ontario, Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Canada's self-styled

Enlarge Image

Marc Emery receives a hug from his wife Jodie at the border crossing in Windsor, Ontario, Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Canada's self-styled "Prince of Pot" has returned home after serving his U.S. sentence for selling marijuana seeds to customers across the border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins

WINDSOR, Ont. - Canada's self-styled "Prince of Pot" returned to a raucous welcome from supporters Tuesday after serving his U.S. sentence for selling marijuana seeds, vowing to continue his activism even if it means more arrests.

Loud cheers and large clouds of pot smoke arose as Marc Emery, 56, arrived in this border city after completing his five-year sentence for selling marijuana seeds from Canada to American customers.

Emery hugged his wife Jodie Emery, who wants to run in next year's federal election for the Liberals — Leader Justin Trudeau supports legalizing marijuana — then launched into a long, pro-Liberal speech peppered with prison anecdotes.

"I do believe that they are sincere that they will legalize marijuana," Emery said.

"I know it's the most uncool thing in the world to have to say, especially to young people, that voting is the answer, but it is. It absolutely is."

Legalization of marijuana — which Emery said should include expunging the record of everyone ever convicted of a related offence — is the only issue in the next election that can have a "profound impact" on Canadians' lives, he said.

"Critics say, 'Well, Canadians are interested in far more important things,'" Emery said. "I say, 'What? What are you interested in? The economy? The environment? Health care? You can't do anything about that by voting. No vote's going to change that."

Emery acknowledged that he has a lot of work ahead, as many people in the "cannabis culture" don't often vote, but he called it an "underestimated voting block," with a lot of potential power.

"If we can get this Liberal majority government next year we'll never need to go to the polls to make marijuana legal ever again," he said.

In the meantime, he plans to hit 30 Canadian cities next year ahead of the election, tour universities in the winter and take his message international, going to countries such as Spain and Ireland.

"Whenever we make those appearances we're going to be giving the same message and it's a worldwide message: Nothing good comes of marijuana prohibition," Emery said.

"If you don't want young people to smoke marijuana that's one thing, but to give them a criminal record, to stigmatize them with a criminal record, to put them in jail for one night...to me that is a very traumatizing thing."

Emery said he has been arrested 28 times for "marijuana civil disobedience" and his just-completed sentence is just the latest.

"It may not even be the last if I have to continue to prove my point," he said.

Emery also plans to go back to work at the Cannabis Culture store in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Shortly after Emery finished his speech in which he frequently vilified Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the public safety minister issued a statement connecting the "convicted drug trafficker" to the Liberals he supports.

"While the Liberals would try to make it easier for our children to access marijuana, Canadians can count on our government to put forward policies that keep drugs off our streets and keep our families safe," Steven Blaney said in a statement.

When Emery was first arrested almost a decade ago, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration heralded his seizure as a "significant blow" to the legalization movement.

He was extradited in 2010 and said he spent his time in prison learning to play the bass, reading thousands of supporters' letters, as well as books and magazines.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Sneak peek: MTS Centre’s renovations for 2014/15 season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(  Standup photo)-    A butterfly looks for nector on a lily Tuesday afternoon in Wolseley-JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- June 22, 2010
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / Jan 10  2011 ‚Äì WEB STDUP ‚Äì Frosty morning at -15 degrees C , in pic frost covers the the Nellie McClung statue  on the MB Legislature grounds at 7am

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think Judy Wasylycia-Leis will greatly benefit from the endorsement by Winnipeg's firefighters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google