Supporters greeted Jodie Emery with cheers on Parliament Hill Wednesday morning in a surprise spontaneous rally. Jodie Emery, otherwise known as the Princess of Pot, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd. Like minded local citizens joined her in protest holding up signs against the steps of Parliament Hill.
Here are some excerpts from Jodie Emery’s speech, one that had passion and a raised voice.
“Legalization bills will be presented in the Spring. Do we need to suffer for decades to come? Dispensaries are Canadian. Our farmers are Canadian. Our employees are Canadian. Our taxes are Canadian. End criminalization, it hurts people every day.
“Legalization should mean no one get’s arrested for pot.
“Bill Blair is ignoring us. Protect us from their laws that have had two million Canadians arrested. How dare they arrest people for marijuana use!”
“This is Prohibition 2.0. There have been more raids and arrests under Justin Trudeau than under Harper.”
“They limit, they restrict, they add more penalties.”
“We will go back to the grass roots of protest, if someone has to die, so be it. People keep fighting and waiting and dying. We are all suffering. People have died waiting for legalization.”
“It’s the government who is hurting the people.”
The group chanted, “We are the good guys.”
Jodie continued, “We are denied freedom. There should be a moratorium on arrests. Focus on the violence, and the gangs and the guns. We mean no harm.
“No prison for pot. We are ignoring the victims.”
Sherry Morrison said, “I am the mother of a daughter who was arrested at the Weed’s dispensary on Bank Street. It’s terrible what they are going through. We are having a protest March 1st at 9:00 AM in front of the courthouse on Elgin on behalf of all the women arrested for working in dispensaries. Make this legal.”
Another said, “These people put themselves on the line to provide patients with what they need.”
Jodie repeated what many have previously stated, “Marijuana has no serious side effects. Marijuana can help people reduce alcohol addiction.
“There are repercussions from marijuana prohibition.”
“There are concerns that some dispensaries may have sold marijuana that didn’t meet standards. That can be dealt with normally. The government doesn’t send in the police with guns and handcuffs to raid a grocery store chain that’s been caught selling moldy food and salad.”
“How many times have we been promised that legalization would come?
Business can be a political act. On the subject of franchised dispensaries, Mrs. Emery said, “Marc will have 200 franchises by the end of the year where people need jobs. There is a new one opening in Toronto this week. We have over 300 requests for franchises. It’s hard to keep track of how many are opening and reopening. I have three in Vancouver and Marc has two in Toronto. We work with the franchise. There are rules and permits, legal costs. Our model covers employee legal fees. It can cost up to $25,000 for a franchise and there are fees. It is cheaper than certain sandwich franchises. All the Montreal stores aren’t up to speed yet. Quebec is not like the rest of Canada.”
One of the observers was Richard, a man in his 70’s. “I’m very glad to see this and hear Jodie speak. I have Raynaud’s disease. I was using marijuana illegally for twenty years. Now I use CBG oil through Canadian Cannabis Clinic. They waved the $300 processing fee and had me seen by two different doctors. By taking an oil low in THC and high in CBD and CBG I’ve gone from six attacks a day to none. I no longer have pain. I received a prescription from a doctor in Toronto via Skype for thirty grams a month which can be measured in either oil or solid. I pay $165 a month. The delivery must be signed for. I can deduct 20% on my income tax because it’s prescribed.”
Jodie continued, “Why can’t we have marijuana lounges where we can hang out?”
Under the noon bells of the Peace Tower the rally left the steps of Parliament and marched towards and down Bank street while waving placards and signs. The enthusiastic merry troop was greeted by the lunch time rush hour of vehicular traffic honking horns and pedestrians giving the thumbs-up.
They were marching towards Ottawa’s newest marijuana dispensary, the Cannabis Culture dispensary at 319 Bank Street near James.
Slated to open at 1 PM, after hastily taking down the camouflaged show-window coverings, Ed and Romeo greeted the first throng of customers. Their job was to check ID for the 19 year-old age limit and control entrance to the dispensary to ten people at a time. No prescription, taxation, license or prior permission is required to purchase marijuana at Cannabis Culture.
Clients were delighted to find the Cannabis Culture well decorated and lit with a full staff of ten and accurate scales on every counter. Rows of display cabinets housed a plethora of well labeled and priced jars of manicured bud…and chocolate bar sized pieces of hash, if you want to know
There were no edibles, drinks, gummie bears or snack cakes. There were bongs, papers and t-shirts. It was a very civilized atmosphere. Experienced, polite bud-tenders, proud of their knowledge, attended to the needs of the many customers via cash, credit or debit.
Shane said, “This is the way we want to be treated.”
Jeremiah Vandermeer, the COO of Cannabis Culture said, “I’m very excited because Cannabis Culture is here in Ottawa. We need to get in their face and under Justin’s nose with a big smell.”