Prince of Pot Marc Emery’s ex-business partner and blonde bombshell medical marijuana advocate, Michelle Rainey has died from cancer.
[Cannabis Culture Editor’s note: Michelle Rainey was one of the most hard-working, vibrant, and dedicated cannabis activists on the planet. She will be sorely missed by everyone in the Cannabis Culture family, and our hearts and thoughts go out to her loved ones in this time of grief. Thanks for all the wonderful work and great times Michelle; we will never forget you! Click here to read a post about Michelle written by Marc Emery on October 5]
She had lived with Crohn’s Disease since a teenager and in the last years of her life struggled against melanoma and lymphatic cancer.
Her husband Jef Tek and mother Emilie were at her side, each holding a hand, when she succumbed Wednesday night in spite of last-ditch, high-dosage experimental cannabis treatment.
The 39-year-old Rainey was the organizational force behind Emery’s pot-based business empire although their relationship deteriorated and they split after being hit with a 2005 U.S. drug-and-money-laundering indictment.
Producing her own show on YouTube titled Michelle’s Medicinal Marijuana, distributing cannabis education packages to those who in need and being a director for Treating Yourself Magazine, she was tenacious proselytizer for the plant and its therapeutic properties.
Rainey and Emery met in 1998 while he was living on the Sunshine Coast and she was working in a Gibsons’ bank. She quit work to become his partner.
Together they established the B.C. Marijuana Party and opened a bookstore-cum-pot HQ on West Hastings Street.
In the 2001 provincial election, theirs was the first political party in provincial history to field candidates in every riding — 79 in all. Rainey ran in Peace River South operating out of The Alaskan Hotel in Dawson Creek.
She managed to get U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s old campaign tour bus, nicknamed it the “Cannabus,” and toured the province with then-party leader Brian Taylor, now mayor of Grand Forks.
The party captured more than 50,000 votes — 3.2 per cent — all funded by Emery’s multi-million-dollar-a-year catalogue seed business.
She joked that she worked at Emery’s “beck and call” — be it lining up candidates, coordinated seed-smuggling trips by pretty women back-and-forth to Europe or storing up to 40 pounds of pot for the parties.
Their economic success and celebrity, however, attracted the attention of the American drug warriors and they were busted.
She and a third co-accused, Greg Williams, pleaded guilty in April and were sentenced to two years’ probation; last month Emery began serving a five-year prison term in the U.S.
“Michelle needs to be recognized as one of the greatest activists this movement has ever had,” he said via an e-mail from jail.
“Michelle may have literally given her life to the movement, and when people think about what they can do for freedom in their lifetime, Michelle’s life is a shining example of how much is possible, even under great duress.”
In the early 1990s, Rainey began smoking marijuana in place of a daily regimen of pharmaceutical drugs she was taking to relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. She said cannabis did not trigger the same debilitating side effects as the pills.
After meeting Emery, she came out of the closet about her use and in recent years became Canada’s most recognizable medical pot crusader.
Her advocacy brought her into contact with numerous high-profile Canadians and she relished talking about rubbing shoulders with celebrities such as Romeo Dallaire, Henry Morgentaler, Wade Davis.
Media mogul Moses Znaimer, who made Rainey a regular at his celebrated annual ideaCity conference, flew to Vancouver to say good-bye. Her pal Dan Aykroyd telephoned his last so-long earlier in the day Wednesday.
She was greatly loved and will be hugely missed.
“I want people to keep working, keep working for change – too many sick people are still having difficulty getting their medication,” Rainey recently said.
“That’s what I want as my legacy — change.”
Sadly, she did not live to see the historic marijuana legalization vote that will occur in California on Nov. 2.
She predicted: “Change is gong to come.”
– Article from The Vancouver Sun.
Please visit Michelle’s website and read her inspiring stories, then view her educational and inspirational videos on her YouTube account.
She is terribly missed by everyone at Cannabis Culture and throughout the community.
This video was made by Jodie Emery as a tribute to Michelle. Please share.
Medicinal marijuana advocate loses battle with cancer
By Monisha Martins – Maple Ridge News
October 21, 2010
Medical marijuana advocate Michelle Rainey died Wednesday night from cancer, which she had been battling for more than a year.
The 39-year-old passed away at her home in Maple Ridge with her husband, Jeff Tek, and her mother Emilie at her side.
“The drug and peace movement has lost a warrior,” said her friend and fellow activist David Malmo-Levine.
“While the treatment didn’t save her,” Malmo-Levine said. “There is important information that needs to be looked at.”
Diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease at 17, Rainey was in the middle of a successful 10-year banking career when she had to undergo two surgeries to remove damaged parts of her bowel.
For years, a cocktail of prescription drugs failed to curb the disease’s symptoms, so she tried marijuana to relieve her nausea.
It worked and she was able to wean herself off every prescribed medication.
Rainey joined the marijuana movement in the late 1990s after meeting self-proclaimed Prince of Pot Marc Emery while working at a bank in Gibsons.
Together, they started the B.C. Marijuana Party and she helped Emery run his multi-million dollar cannabis seed business.
In a statement posted on cannabisculture.com earlier this month by Emery, he wrote: “Considering the considerable pain her health has given her, she was heroic in so many ways and represented the movement with class and clout.”
Rainey was his “teammate”, the person who made sure his employees were paid, “marijuana seeds were shipped on time, the producers paid and happy, the media fully informed, Pot-TV running smoothly.”
Rainey and Emery’s relationship soured after they and Greg Williams were indicted in the U.S. on charges of growing marijuana, conspiracy, seed sales and money laundering.
In July 2009, Rainey and Williams were sentenced to two years probation in Canada. Emery decided to sign a plea deal for a five-year sentence, which he is currently serving in a U.S. federal prison.
In Maple Ridge, Rainey was an articulate and vocal advocate for the medicinal marijuana movement, speaking out recently in support of marijuana dispensary and against a bylaw to prevent medical grow operations in Pitt Meadows.
She was at the helm of an alternative medicine journal, Treating Yourself Magazine, and helped many navigate the maze to get a medical marijuana exemptions from Health Canada.
Emery wrote: “She was an engine for great change in the world, committing money, her health, and her whole soul into this great movement that is forever in debt to her.”
A memorial for Rainey is being planned.
– Article from Maple Ridge News.