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.