MARIJUANA ACTIVISTS UPSET OVER EMERY CONVICTION
Approximately 200 people showed up at the Vimy Memorial Park September
11th protesting the incarceration of Marc Emery, Canada's leading pot
activist. Heralded as 'The Prince of Pot,' Emery was convicted last
month of trafficking after sharing a joint with a friend. He was
sentenced to 92 days in jail. This is the eleventh conviction for the
founder of B.C.'s Marijuana Party and Cannabis Culture magazine. All
previous convictions resulted only in fines.
After speaking at the U of S last spring, Emery made his way to Vimy
Park with about thirty university- aged followers and smoked a joint.
Saskatoon Police officers came across the tokers, and the rest is history.
"Its time for people to wake up, we're in a different century," says
Kerry Kunka, organizer of last week's rally and fellow cannabis
lobbyist. "We're all ashamed to see him locked up...this shouldn't
happen to anyone.
"Police need time to deal with real criminals, [putting them in jail]
for passing a joint doesn't make them a better person."
Last spring Emery had been promoting the legalization of marijuana
across Canada. Traveling to seventeen cities, he spoke and smoked-up
in front of the local police stations. During this "Summer of
Legalization Tour' he was arrested and charged in the cities of
Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, St John's, Moncton, and Regina. But all
charges were dropped as the courts ceded that marijuana wasn't legal
between July 2002 and October 2003. In July of this year, Prime
Minister Paul Martin promised to reintroduce the decriminalization of
marijuana in the legislature.
"Let my incarceration galvanize you to action." says Emery,
encouraging supporters to write letters to their local politicians.
"Your letters should not be calling for me to be released. The point
should be that this could happen to anyone, and it does happen to
people who don't have media connections and attention like I do. Every
week someone in Canada goes away for a long time for small amounts of
A vigil from 1pm to 5pm daily is being held outside the courthouse in
which Emery was convicted.
The Saskatoon Police were unavailable for comment.