Two of North America’s most prominent marijuana activists were married in a quiet coastal village near Vancouver, Canada on December 2.
Renee Boje, a US drug war refugee who has received favorable international mainstream media attention in her quest to gain political asylum in Canada, married Chris Bennett, a scholar, author, and director of the Marc Emery Pot-TV network.
The event was attended by hundreds of friends and relatives; many of them were prominent activists and members of the international cannabis coalition. The hour long “heiros gaimos” marriage ritual featured original music, a surrealistic, rave-quality light show, a ganja-infused wedding ceremony conducted by author and reverend Chris Conrad, dozens of costumed dancers and actors, and memorable moments of high emotion and gentle humor.
Bennett and Boje met in 1999 after Boje traveled to Canada to avoid having to testify against California medical marijuana advocates Todd McCormick and Peter McWilliams.
McCormick, McWilliams and Boje had earlier been accused by federal officials of growing marijuana in Southern California, and each of them was facing sentences that could have totaled 20 years.
McWilliams later died because federal officials refused to allow him to use medical marijuana while he was awaiting sentencing on cultivation charges.
Because Boje was especially articulate, photogenic, and courageous, the US government’s efforts to extradite her from Canada and force her to testify against her friends made her an ideal symbol of the drug war’s cruelty. She hosts her own Pot-TV show, and is petitioning the Canadian government to recognize that the US drug war is a violation of human rights that requires the Canadian government to grant her asylum.
Bennett is the author of several pioneering books that contain startling revelations about the role of cannabis in religion, history, and the future. His work on the use of cannabis by Jesus and other Biblical figures has been lauded as containing significant new discoveries about the role of marijuana in attaining spiritual perfection.
Cannabis featured prominently in the ceremony. Cannabis seedmeister Marc Emery, founder of the BC Marijuana Party and publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, was the best man. Boje was escorted to the podium by an entourage of bridesmaids dressed in colorful pot-leaf fairy costumes, bearing magic wands made of joints.
During the height of the marriage ritual, Conrad instructed Emery to pack a bowl of bud in a three foot high ornate glass bong. Both Bennett and Boje took hits off the bong and exchanged the holy smoke during a kiss.
Boje told the crowd that she was several months pregnant with Bennett’s baby. Indeed, the fugitive’s swollen stomach, painted with ancient fertilty symbols, was bare during the ceremony.
After the official ritual was over, guests drank bhang and ate ganja-laden sweets, smoked bubble hash, danced to a superb house-trance DJ, and congratulated the couple on their union and their activism.
“This is a joyous day for our culture,” commented Marc Emery, who provided logisitical and financial support for the event, along with 3,000 hand-rolled joints containing nearly two dozen distinctive varieties of locally-produced cannabis. “These two people are examples of what we can achieve if we work hard to throw off the mantle of oppression and have fun while we do it!”
Bennett, who waited onstage nearly half an hour after snafus prevented Boje from arriving on time at the wedding hall on the remote Canadian coast, injected a defiant political coda to the ceremony when he spoke to the wedding guests from the stage.
Referring to US efforts to incarcerate his new wife, Bennett said, “This wedding shows that love is stronger than death, even DEA death.”