Pot Crusader Has High Hopes

Marc Emery speaks to a crowd in Lethbridge, Alberta on his Farewell Tour (Photo by Tamara Cartwright)Marc Emery speaks to a crowd in Lethbridge, Alberta on his Farewell Tour (Photo by Tamara Cartwright)Marc Emery, the self-titled Prince of Pot, is no stranger to a jail cell but this time he’s heading south of the border and fully expects he’ll get a five-year sentence when he pleads guilty to a count of distributing marijuana for selling cannabis seeds.

Emery, who also publishes Cannabis Culture Magazine, stopped in Lethbridge Tuesday as part of his farewell tour before he pleads guilty to the charge in a Seattle courtroom in September or October. He was scheduled to give an evening presentation at the University of Lethbridge Student Union Building, an event sponsored by the Southern Alberta Cannabis Club and B.O.B. Headquarters. He’s travelling across the country and calling on supporters to ready themselves to lobby politicians.

“The thing I am asking my supporters to do once I am sentenced and put in a U.S. jail is to get me transferred back to Canada,” Emery said.

In return for his guilty plea, other charges for conspiracy to money launder and conspiracy to manufacture will be dropped. Two of his employees have also pleaded guilty to distributing marijuana and are awaiting sentencing, likely two years of probation. That allows him to avoid facing longer prison terms and hefty financial penalties.

Emery gave up his fight against extradition on the advice of his lawyers. Even so, he said he finds it ironic that the biggest beneficiaries of his seed business were the Canadian and British Columbian governments. He maintains he conducted his business out in the open and paid taxes on the money he made. But he admits to being belligerent and unrepentant, too, and that likely hasn’t won him any favours with the U.S. criminal justice system.

His ultimate goal has always been to legalize marijuana because he believes it’s the right thing to do. He became a crusader for marijuana users after reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged some 30 years ago.

“Ever since, I’ve been on this one-man tear to bring justice to the people I thought were most oppressed and unable to defend themselves,” Emery said. “Nobody was defending the marijuana people when I started in 1990. There were a quarter of a million people in jail then as there are now for marijuana. So there’s no group of people on Earth that have been scapegoated in as large numbers and with that kind of punishment as the cannabis people.”

More people are being arrested for growing, selling or possessing marijuana every year and that creates its own set of problems, he said. Prisoners violate each other and gangs wage turf wars on the street because of the lucrative profits involved.

“All the things that do kill you are legal — tobacco, alcohol, guns, fast cars and fatty foods, even Walkerton, Ontario had eight people die from the government-approved water, Maple Leaf Foods (through listeriosis-contaminated products) killed people, basically everything out there will kill you but marijuana will not. And yet it’s held in the highest degree of revulsion by the government. To me it’s very, very curious.”

While some gains have been made, including medical marijuana and industrial hemp production, progress has still been slow. He cites statistics that show more than half of people support legalizing marijuana but only about a quarter support legalizing the sale of marijuana.

“So there’s a disconnect. People believe they should have it without punishment but they don’t provide a way for anyone to get it without punishment,” he said. “We’re scapegoated because the government has always wanted to control free thinkers and they’ll use violence and suppression of any kind. Citizens insisting on their freedom are a terrible inconvenience to government.”

– Article from Lethbridge Herald.



  1. Freedom Fighters on

    Along time ago we had no rights that today people take so easily for granted, to find a Bong was a treasure because the Law made these simple items contraband and you only had rolling papers and your own creativity. It was people like Marc Emery who is the frontier of these times that people so easily take for granted simply do not think of and the fact that it is possible to go backwards once more and lose what precious freedoms we’ve gained this far.
    People like Marc Emery come only once in a rare lifetime to be able to see the world and effectively make changes in areas that help causes and is an amazing motivator, while sharing us knowledge, enough for us all who sat in our closets in fear of our Government while he taught, “You are not alone, Knowledge is their to defend with real truths”. So people like me and others who want to reach out and help that one person in the crowd to save someone but can’t, won’t or just don’t know how to help them or themselves. Marc is that one person, no matter what the criticisms out their may be, The screaming voice coming from the crowd yelling for help that everyone ignores and walks by, Marc reached out and so many others appeared from the crowd strengthened and ready to help, when just before they stood in apprehension saying to themselves should I even bother. It takes that one Leader from the crowd and soon you have the movement but if that one person never steps forward then it becomes the same repetitive sad story of, what can I do and nothing gets done. Marc said I know what to do and now he’s taking the bullet for being on that front line for us and it seems to me to be pretty honorable when the funds that he received went back to our cause and has nothing to his name to show for it but our memories and how we remember him. Sure Marc might have had multiple personal reasons which gave him his push but no one can say they have reached in this country as far as Marc has by changing the many peoples minds from old misinformation and lies to the truths. This Man gave it all away and is possibly about to lose many years and we will look back and see what he sacrificed just to make it so we the people don’t have to hide like we are ashamed and instead yell I am a better person because of Cannabis. I am thankful to Marc Emery who showed me I am not alone and I should not be ashamed but proud to choose a safer healthier lifestyle.
    So when Marc does come back, hopefully; someone will stand at the front line trying to make changes on our behalf until that day and see it might take bigger shoes then they ever thought possible.
    Sorry to put you on that pedestal Marc but someone has to be up their or there would be no Gandhi or Luther Martin King and you have that job for our cause in this country and I hope we remember this when he comes back and we may find after that time we have lost Marc this day forever because prison does change you on the inside..

    Please give till it hurts and try and make Marcs stay a little less hell like.
    Thanks again Marc for what you maybe giving up I hope you know you did reach many and you did take away the frustrations and fears by giving us truer knowledge,
    Thank you and God Bless.

  2. Herb on

    Re: Global TV’s coverage of Prince of Pot’s visit to Lethbridge


    Is that an exasperated sigh by the interviewer at 40 seconds?

    and how many people were in attendance?