Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery is back from his cross-Canada “Summer of Legalization” police-station smoke-out tour and reports a resounding string of successes in Ontario, where he smoked massive phatties in front of police stations in Kingston, London, Hamilton, Windsor and Sudbury.
He also smoked at the Cannabian Day Rally in Toronto and added a final, unexpected visit to the University of Guelph on September 2 during “Frosh Week”, the week when new students arrive, get oriented and party.
Emery reports larger-than-average turn outs in cities across Ontario.
“Typically there were about 150 people in each city,” he said. “There was excitement almost everywhere I went, but Ontario crowds were generally larger and more exuberant. I never signed so many T-shirts, front and back. In Sudbury I signed 7 cannabis flags. The tour made the front page of most local newspapers after each visit.”
There were no arrests or confiscations of pot during the Ontario leg of Emery’s tour. In fact, police didn’t try to interfere with the protests at all.
“Because I wasn’t arrested, I spoke for about two and a half hours at each stop. At the University of Guelph, tons of students smoked joints while I talked. That would be the first outdoor smoke-out done legally on a Canadian campus.”
The point of Emery’s tour was to demonstrate that marijuana is legal in Canada, because of recent Ontario court decisions ? upheld in Nova Scotia and PEI ? that say pot laws are invalid.
“The Ontario tour demonstrated for certain that marijuana is legal in Ontario and is acknowledged as such by police,” explained Emery. “Now you are seeing the emergence of places like the Hippie Cafe in London and the Hotbox Cafe in Toronto, with people actively smoking away in a safe environment. More of these establishments will open, but Ontarians are waiting to see if the government will pass a law making marijuana illegal again.”
Which, according to Emery and other activists, is the purpose of Canada’s proposed decriminalization law. Some provinces, however, aren’t waiting for the new law to persecute pot smokers. Emery’s tour cost him court cases in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina, St Johns and Moncton. He sees each of these court cases as a golden opportunity.
“I’ve hired Ontario lawyer Brian McAllister to help me prepare for them, since he won the court case that overturned prohibition in the first place. I will argue that cannabis is legal throughout Canada!”