WATCH: Marijuana policy reform activists join The Morning Show to talk about Marc’s return from U.S. prison and Jodie’s run for federal politics.
TORONTO – Canada’s “Prince of Pot” is hoping to rally marijuana supporters by staging a welcome home party at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square Thursday afternoon just days after his release from a U.S. prison.
B.C. marijuana activist Marc Emery posted an invite on his Facebook page Wednesday asking for people to show up between 3 to 5 p.m.
The 56-year-old Vancouver resident was extradited to Seattle in May 2010, when he pleaded guilty to selling marijuana seeds from Canada to American customers before serving his time in several U.S. corrections’ facilities.
When he was first arrested almost a decade ago, the Drug Enforcement Agency heralded his seizure as a “significant blow” to the legalization movement.
“For 45 years, we’ve got two million Canadians who have been arrested and given criminal records and suffered the duress of that kind of punishment and hundreds of thousands of people went to jail,” said Emery during an appearance on The Morning Show Thursday.
“It’s a peaceful, honest lifestyle choice. Why are we being punished?”
Emery crossed the border to Windsor, Ont. on Tuesday evening and vowed to continue his activism even if it means more arrests.
The so-called “Prince of Pot” is eyeing the next federal election as a potential spring-board to finally make marijuana legal in Canada.
“We’ve been promised from various governments from Pierre Elliot Trudeau to Joe Clark, to Prime Minister Chretien, and even Jack Layton,” Emery said.
“So many politicians, that they’re going to legalize marijuana. But 45 years later arrests are larger than ever.”
“If we can get this Liberal majority government next year we’ll never need to go to the polls to make marijuana legal ever again,” Emery told reporters on Tuesday.
Emery’s wife, Jodie, has already filed her papers to run for the Liberals in the Vancouver East riding and her website jodieemery.ca is already up.
“When you think of the kids, mothers, husbands, and all these family members that are so horribly affected by these laws. That’s unjust,” said Jodie Emery on The Morning Show.
“Millions of tax dollars spent to put children and family members through misery.”
In the works is a 30-city, cross-Canada advocacy tour, as well as speaking engagements and meetings with officials in Spain, Austria, Ireland and Uruguay.
With files from The Canadian Press