CANNABIS CULTURE – Pot activist Marc Emery returned home to Canada on Tuesday after serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence in the United States. Emery’s charges stemmed from selling marijuana seeds to American customers through his mail order business.
We caught up with people on the street and in the cannabis community in Emery’s home base of Vancouver, B.C. to find out their opinions on his return. Most of the responses were positive but not everyone is a supporter:
Bookseller (Michael) and Customer (Monty) on Commercial Drive
Monty: “[Marc Emery] got screwed over, for one thing. How can you have something that’s illegal but not really illegal?”
Monty: “The thing is shipping something out from Canada, that wouldn’t be illegal if he was shipping it to Washington, Colorado, so on and so forth. This was just a big f-ing mess. He didn’t deserve five years.”
Michael: “Just think about it, if you legalized marijuana, you’re going to have to pay taxes. That would help society. It might be a contentious issue, come election time. Isn’t his wife running for the Liberal Party? It’s a great ticket to be on.”
Adam, pot activist and technology professional: “I think today is a great day, where an egregious wrong against Marc and the cannabis community has finally been righted by his return. I feel that him being sent to the United States in the first place was a huge breach of Canadian sovereignty. I’m glad that Marc’s back and is able to continue with the excellent work he was doing five years ago.”
Del, walking his dog on Victoria Ave: “I don’t think he’s a hero. I think he should understand it’s not okay to sell an illegal substance. Just like people who sell cocaine, crack – are they heroes? No. It’s the same idea.”
Brenna, medical cannabis dispensary member: “Well, it’s interesting news. I don’t really know much about Marc Emery but I know that he was in jail for 5 years for selling seeds to the states. I think him being back in Canada is good, and that it will allow him to move on with his life. I hope he’ll do well with the transition back and that he can be a part of our society here again.”
Anonymous, Fire Hall No. 9: “I’m okay with the fact he was released from jail. But in the grand scheme of my life, it means nothing.”
Budderking, Vancouver dispensary owner: “I feel like my child’s been born. I’m absolutely ecstatic. I’m so happy … and I can’t wait to actually say ‘Hi’ to Marc. I think we’re all the very turning point, and we’re all coming out of the dark tunnel now. I think we’re going to see mass acceleration … and especially with America looking at repeal [of the prohibition of cannabis]. I think we’re going to see a new form of government, of leadership that’s pro-cannabis. I think that once and for all, we’re coming out of the dark ages.”
After reuniting with his wife and supporters following his release in Windsor ON, Emery spoke at Vapor Central on Wednesday and met with supporters in Yonge-Dundas Square on Thursday. Vancouver’s public celebration for Emery’s homecoming will take place on Sunday, August 17 starting at Noon in Victory Square Park at the intersection of Cambie St. and Hastings St (see map).