Unlike the "Prince of Pot," I don't use marijuana. I never have, and probably never will, even if it were to become legal for recreational use. Nevertheless, I have been a staunch admirer of Marc's ever since I first met him. While Marc Emery didn't do this single-handedly, there is no question that he is at least partly responsible for the fact that hundreds of thousands of people across North America now have legal access to a medication that helps relieve their pain and epileptic seizures. Margaret Wente said that Marc's no hero, but I disagree.
The most important project for Jodie and I begins on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. That day kicks off our Election 2015 Canada-wide speaking tour, where we will speak at rallies in thirty cities in nine provinces, until Monday Oct. 18, 2015, the day before Canada's federal election. The intent will be to impress upon the Canadian cannabis culture to get out and vote - and vote against the currently-governing prohibitionist Conservative party.
There's a video of me speaking at Toronto's Vapor Central in 2009 where I say Justin Trudeau and I have smoked pot together four or five times. I meant that I have only smoked pot on one occasion with Trudeau and four or five times that one evening. But I didn't lie; I meant to reference that Trudeau has smoked pot. I witnessed it in 2003. However, that was then, and this is now. Today, as Liberal Party leader he is doing a terrific job on the issue of marijuana and its legal status. He is advocating the clearest, most rational policy -- legalization -- that I can imagine a Canadian leader putting forth.
The RCMP have been focusing more on small-time marijuana arrests since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister. RCMP arrests for marijuana possession are up 40% across Canada, and have more than doubled in B.C. Also increasing in frequency are the raids and harassment of bong shops. This trend will continue, unless we put a stop to it. We need one of these store owners to stand up to the police, to go to court and challenge the foundation of this unconstitutional law.
All bongs, pipes and vaporizers have been banned in Canada by the Conservative government. Selling these items is punishable with jail terms and some of the highest fines in the Criminal Code.Books that describe how to grow marijuana are also banned, as is any other written or video material used to "promote, encourage or advocate, the production, preparation or consumption of illicit drugs." Surprised about this harsh law? Don't be, it's 25 years old.
The biggest celebration day in cannabis culture is April 20. The April 20 (4/20) celebration originally started in the mid-1970s as the time of day after school, 4:20 p.m., for high school students in San Rafael, California to meet and smoke pot. The phrase "I'll see at you at 4:20" became code for, "I'll be there to smoke a joint with you after classes are over". Its origins in Canada happened in 1995 when two of my HEMP BC employees came to me at my desk and asked, "Marc, we'd like to have a 'Four-Twenty' celebration on April 20. We'd like your permission and approval to put on a Four-Twenty concert and rally and fun time in Victory Square next door." I responded, "No, we can't do that."