PRINCE OF POT HIGH ON INDIA
Imagine a Ganja Party of India, or a Bhang Magazine or a Charas-TV. Canada
has all these.
The Marijuana Party of Canada, Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot-TV. And
the man who spawned all this says India was a spark of inspiration for him.
In 1992, Marc Emery was just another visitor to India. When he visited
Pushkar in Rajasthan, he says he couldn't believe his eyes.
"Sadhus were smoking ganja openly. No policemen interrupted them. In
Varanasi, sadhus used ganja and bhang. In Jaisalmer, I found a shop which
sold charas. Damn it. Back in North America we were spending million of
dollars to stop drug trade, and here in India nobody stopped these sadhus.
There was no prohibition. I found India very inspirational," he told this
correspondent some time ago.
Returning home, he launched a movement to overthrow prohibition. Emery
opened a shop called Hemp BC in Vancouver to openly sell marijuana or
ganja. That was in 1994. Since then he has been in and out of jail.
Today, when he came out of jail for the ninth time after his three-month
incarceration, he just smirked, saying, jails don't bother him.
Called the Prince of Pot (marijuana or ganja), Emery is North America's
most well known marijuana activist. He is all over the media. Time
magazine, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, ABC News, the Sunday
Times of London, the Asian Wall Street Journal, etc. have profiled him.
The 45-year-old man runs his own Pot-TV and Cannabis Culture magazine. His
Marijuana Party contested all the 79 seats in the last British Columbian
provincial elections and received 3.5 per cent of the total vote, more than
the Green Party.
He makes millions of dollars by selling marijuana. "After many police
raids, I stopped selling over the counter. Now I sell by mail order. I keep
no receipts so that there is no proof against me."
Canadian laws against marijuana or drug operations are very lenient, to say
the least. If you are caught growing or selling it, you are either let off
or fined lightly. Amidst this leniency, Emery is making a pile and us
his profit to finance what he calls "a revolution to overthrow prohibition."
According to him, the Americans paid heavily for the prohibition of the
1920s. Al Capone and myriad of other gangs mushroomed.
"I advocate the position of liberty, the position of justice, the position
of non-violent freedom for all people to do what they want, to put in their
body what they want, to act in a manner that is suitable to them without
interference from others, especially their government," he tells an
The Marijuana Party of Canada has put the issue before people who seem to
be responding. According to surveys, more than 50 per cent Canadians are
"Prohibition grants a monopoly to gangsters who charge whatever price they
want. My plea is: if you lift prohibition, crime syndicates will disappear.
Black market will disappear. Sell marijuana in the open. I am a
libertarian," Emery says who began his activism way back in 1975.
The Marijuana Party scored a victory two years ago when the federal
government allowed the use of marijuana in medical-prescribed cases.
Strict anti-drug laws in the neighbouring US has led many crime syndicates
to take up marijuana smuggling from Canada in a big way. Every year,
thousands of marijuana grow-ups (indoors cultivations under hot lamps) are
destroyed in British Columbia in Canada. Still the illegal trade is said to
be worth about 4 billion dollars.
"I am committed to ending prohibition," says Emery, who has donated
millions to election campaigns of the Marijuana Party, pro-ganja
initiatives in the US and the Legalize Cannabis Party in New Zealand.