"Prince of Pot" says good-bye to Canada
Published Sunday, July 5, 2009 4:24PM MDT
The so-called "Prince of Pot" launched his farewell tour Sunday in Calgary. Marc Emery has given up his long fight to avoid extradition to the U.S. for selling cannabis seeds. He plans to turn himself in to Seattle authorities in the fall, and then he'll likely serve a lengthy prison sentence in an American jail.
Calgary is Emery's first stop on a 32-city farewell tour.
"I'm being taken to a U.S. prison for something I did in Canada as innocuous as selling seeds, which don't even have any drug quality, and yet I have to face a five year term for that."
Emery plans to surrender himself to U.S. authorities in September. He's giving up on his fight to avoid extradition for selling cannabis seeds to customers in the United States.
"It's difficult to say what will happen in a U.S. federal penitentiary. It's never very pleasant. American jails aren't run nearly as well as Canadian jails."
And Emery would know: he's been arrested more than a dozen times in his 20 years of activism. He says he's on tour to bid farewell to his friends and encourage them to keep up the fight to legalize cannabis.
"I'm going away for a long time so I expect everybody to do their best and pick up the slack for me.'
Calgary cannabis activist, Keith Fagan, say Emery's farewell tour helps keep the issue in the public eye.
"It does help to get the message out there. Marc and I don't agree on everything. He's a smoke cannabis out in the public type, and I'm of course not. But we still work together. We're still friends."
Emery wants activists to fight bill C-15. The federal bill will introduce mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana in Canada. It has passed the House of Commons and it is currently before the Senate.
Emery says the NDP, the Bloc, and the Green Party are all cannabis-friendly political parties that activists should support.
Other stops on Emery's farewell tour include Banff on Monday, Lethbridge on Tuesday, Saskatoon on Wednesday, and Edmonton on Thursday.