Marc Emory’s long and winding campaign to legalize marijuana

It’s hard not to think of raw milk and the trials of Michael Schmidt when you read this story, which appeared today in the print edition of the Toronto Star

“For all it’s cost him in money and liberty, Canada’s voluble “prince of pot,” Marc Emery, is still not about to hide his principles — or the light off the joints he sparks — under a bushel.

In fact these days, as the federal government prepares to liberalize marijuana laws, are hugely gratifying for the country’s best-known pot crusader and have him evangelizing at the same hectic pace.

For most of Emery’s quarter-century of activism, during which he saw the inside of 34 prisons, jails and institutions, it “looked like progress was moving awful slow for the price one has to pay,” he told the Star in a recent interview.

But thanks to civil disobedience, the rallying tools of social media, and greater awareness of the medical uses of cannabis, change is now coming “faster than government or authorities can keep up with,” he said.

Last month, Health Minister Jane Philpott told the UN the federal government’s promised legislation to legalize marijuana will be tabled next spring.

And if any Canadian can talk about the long, strange trip it’s been, it would be Emery — a natural-born entrepreneur and disturber just two years from a 4½-year prison stint. He visited Toronto recently to scout out two new outlets for his Cannabis Culture dispensaries.

Emery had been charged dozens of times in Canada, was convicted twice and paid small fines for selling pot seeds. Then came his 2005 arrest by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency where he was accused of selling to American clients from his Vancouver stores….”

Read more, on the Toronto Star website.

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