The Summer of Legalization tour had a successful first stop in the Maritimes on July 19, as Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery toked up openly at a rally in front of the Halifax police station. Happily, he was not arrested.
“The police were nowhere to be found,” wrote Emery in a posting to the Cannabis Culture online forums. “I smoked three pipefuls at five minute intervals, but clearly the police were nowhere to be seen at the front door of the police station for the one hour we were there.”
“I am elated at not being arrested,” added Emery. “The media asked what I thought of the police reaction, I said it looks good on Halifax, that the police had the proper reaction. They should not care at all about a quiet and legal demonstration supporting the rule of law. I said the police are sending a signal.”
Scott, a Halifax resident who put up posters and helped promote the rally, described it as follows: “Marc was rousing and compelling as usual, spoke about the ills of prohibition and the graces of our beautiful plant, and then he lit up the great fish pipe which he received complementary from one of the local head shops, Mary Jane’s. At this point it seemed everyone in the crowd dropped whatever they were doing and lit up as well; it was a beautiful sight.
“I lit a joint of Marc’s fine blueberry (the best pot I have ever seen or smoked in my entire life) and passed it on through the crowd. So many people brought their own pipes and joints. Halifax really represented with solidarity – it seemed like EVERYONE was smoking!
“Everyone was high at this point on not having the cops intervene and a friend of mine who was up on the hill watching across the street estimated there were upwards of 150 people at this point. We kept smoking, and Marc kept speaking, and led the crowd in a rendition of Oh, Canada! to the delight of the cameras. People were driving by and honking, giving us thumbs up signs, etc.
“At this point Marc lit up another bowl, the media stayed to soak up the rest of what Marc had to offer, everyone hung around and kept smoking, talking, someone had brought Timbits and doughnuts which were being handed around. Marc gave out and signed tons of copies of Cannabis Culture, and engaged in dialogue with the press and attendees about various subjects surrounding the drug war, G.W. Bush, America, and the Marijuana Party. It was an amazing vibe and everyone was clearly excited and proud to be there.”
Onwards to freedom
“There were simply no police officers out to witness, watch or pay any attention whatsoever,” said Emery in a subsequent interview on Pot-TV, “and I think that sends some degree of a signal. The police would certainly have been aware of the Winnipeg and Regina busts.”
Emery was also happy with the ongoing media coverage his tour was getting.
“I was really buoyed in my spirits when I saw that the St. John’s Telegram had an editorial that was all about my tour,” said Emery, “and the RCMP in St John’s Newfoundland, a stop on my tour coming next Saturday, are not sure if they’ll charge me either, and they’re talking to the Attorney General and getting clarification from him.
“So the tour is a success, in that people are talking about this in high levels of government and enforcement, and coming to the conclusion that if they were to obey the rule of law, there should be no more marijuana charges laid, and that none should have been laid for the past two years!”
Emery was happy to be enjoying his freedom over the weekend. “I was pretty sure that I would be in jail until bail would have been posted on Monday, So this sets an excellent tone for the next three cities, Moncton, Charlottetown and St John’s, the rest of this part of the tour.”
July 10: Dauphin, Manitoba
July 12: Regina, Saskatchewan
July 19: Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 21: Moncton, New Brunswick
July 23: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
July 26: St. John’s, Newfoundland
August 9: Calgary, Alberta
August 10: Edmonton, Alberta
August 11: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
August 12: Prince George, BC
August 25: Kingston, Ontario
August 26: London, Ontario
August 27: Hamilton, Ontario
August 28: Sudbury, Ontario
August 30: Windsor, Ontario