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Missed my chance with The Prince of Pot

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I’m seeing on Twitter that Marc Emery, whom the Globe and Mail is calling the Canadian Prince of Pot, has just been released from jail in the U.S.

Emery has been a crusader for legalized marijuana for quite a while now, and ran afoul of the constabulary in the States.

Back in the day, Emery ran a really good used bookstore in downtown LondonOnt just a few blocks from the London Free Press office, and would occasionally start up a new political party or two, which could best be loosely described as Libertarian in principle.

And back in the late '70s he also started up a weekly newspaper in competition with the Freeps, one that was not the voice of the overdog and was not beholden to The Man.

He had put out one issue, maybe two, with the editor being a guy who was active with Greenpeace and who despised the Freeps and The Establishment, of which there was a lot in LondonOnt. As Bob Rae once said on a provincial election campaign, looking out the bus at an entire block downtown taken up by the multi-storied insurance empire, "The man who is tired of London Life is truly tired of life itself." But I digress.

Emery called me up one day and said he wanted to have lunch and offer me the job as editor of his new paper.

Seems he’d already fired his editor.

Emery was someone with whom most of us at the Freeps had dealt with at one time or another, and I told him that I reckoned that there was not much if anything we agreed on politically, that I was quite happy at the Freeps, and that job security didn’t seem to be one of the features of his new paper.

But he persisted, and asked me what I had to lose by having lunch with him.

So I went to the restaurant at the appointed time, ate lunch alone, and then went back to the office. Something had come up, and this being the dark ages before cell phones and email and texting, and calling the restaurant to leave a message for me having apparently not having been an option, Emery didn’t show, and I chose not to reschedule. I missed my chance at the big time.

 

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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