OK Canada, it's high time to S#!T or get off the pot!
Friday, August 29, 20031 Comment
If Marc Emery is tired, I don't hear it in his voice. It's 9:30 on a Saturday morning and I've reached him on his cell phone, just outside of Windsor, where his "Summer of Legalization Tour" is just rolling (pardon the pun) away. The President of the BC Marijuana Party , and editor of "Cannabis Culture" , Emery is on a Canada-wide crusade to challenge marijuana laws, holding "Smoke Outs" right on the steps of police stations in various cities.
"Windsor was great", he says, "close to 200 boisterous people! With lots of people lighting up." According to Emery, Ontario (especially Sudbury and Hamilton) has seen the most smoker-participation, due in no small part to its "loose" enforcement of pot laws.
The tour has been a success for Emery on a few levels.
"The food down east was great! St. John's, Moncton, Halifax...they were all really receptive. The smallest turnout so far was in Charlottetown where we only had about twelve people. But, all in all, there has been at least one person at every stop that smokes with me."
This road trip, however, has not been without its bumps. Though the police for the most part have been "polite", Emery says that there have been a few harrowing moments. Particularly in Winnipeg, the tour's first stop.
"I was arrested and brought before the judge in leg-irons. Then they tried to deny me bail, saying that I was certain to re-offend. I was in custody for twenty-four hours. They finally got that sorted out but the judge said that if I did re-offend, I would end up back in Winnipeg for breach of bail."
While this neither cast a pall over the tour nor tested Emery's resolve, it did make for six anxious hours in a Regina holding cell.
"I thought that I was going to be sent back to Winnipeg for sure." He wasn't.
After a "Smoke Out" on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday, August 30th, the "Summer Of Legalization Tour" will hit (again, sorry) the University of Guelph in Branion Plaza on Tuesday, September 2nd at 6 p.m. Emery is evasive when I ask him if we can expect a "smoke-out", given that this stop does not include a trip to Guelph's police station.
"The person that's bringing me to the University of Guelph is doing so because, apparently, campus police impose additional fines to already existing ones."
He laughs when I tell him that I'm not sure if they have any leg-irons.