100 to 150 protesters looked on as Marc Emery lit what some described as a ‘huge bomber’ outside of the Kingston police headquarters on August 25 at 4:20 PM. According to eyewitnesses, there were no arrests and no pot confiscated, but several officers observed the demonstration, and at one point gently herded protesters off the street and onto the sidewalk.
The larger-than-average turn out in Kingston may be the result of more lenient application of pot laws in Ontario. Earlier this year, Ontario courts handed down pro-pot court decisions that said Canada’s marijuana laws are defunct. Since then, Ontario prosecutors have been ordered to stay all charges under 30 grams, and some Ontario Provincial court judges have been known to completely throw out pot possession cases.
Kingston was the eleventh city in Emery’s sixteen-city Summer of Legalization Tour. Before the tour officially got underway, he also smoked out the Toronto, Ontario police headquarters, where there were similarly no arrests and no confiscations.
Cannabis loving Ontarians hoping for a chance to smoke a spliff with pot-champion Marc Emery may be relieved by the relative freedom and safety afforded in their province. Pot smokers might also delight in exercising their fractured freedoms in proximity to the very government agents responsible for shaming, persecuting and disenfranchising them.
As one enthusiastic puffer who attended Emery’s cop-shop smoke-out in Prince George said, ‘At times I’ve been so tired of hiding my love of pot that I wanted to walk up to the police station and smoke a joint right in their faces. Marc Emery gave me the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream.’
It’s also important to remember that, despite Ontario’s relatively pot-friendly atmosphere, Emery’s tour continues to serve an important purpose, establishing pot precedents in every city where he stops. Every time Emery is not arrested, police publicly admit, before the watchful eye of the media, that marijuana laws are of no force and effect in their city.
August 26: London, Ontario
August 27: Hamilton, Ontario
August 28: Sudbury, Ontario
August 29: Windsor, Ontario
August 30: Toronto, Ontario (Cannabian Day Rally)