Marc Emery Released From Prison
Mark Emery, the ‘Prince of Pot’ and poster child for the marijuana legalization movement, was imprisoned for selling cannabis seeds cross-border from Canada into the US. It was a political arrest that drug enforcement agencies hailed as a ‘devastating blow’ to the legalization movement. The arrest was intend as a political act, scaring activists and seed banks into submission. Little did they know that it would have the opposite effect.
Although Emery was incarcerated, his ideals were not. We have a lot to thank Emery for, and he can quite rightly take a lot of credit for the reform that is happening in the US. Many of his arguments and ideals surrounding cannabis reform took root and have flourished during his imprisonment. Back when Emery was arrested, marijuana activists were fighting tooth and nail to change the acceptance of cannabis. Now, as he emerges from prison, landscape has changed – with New York recently becoming the 23rd US state to authorize the use of weed as a medical treatment, and two states already allowing the sale of recreational marijuana.
The reason behind the arrest
Mark Emery, a resident of Vancouver, Canada, first started selling cannabis seeds in 1994. It wasn’t just to make money though. Emery used the business to fund activist groups, lobbyists, court cases and ballot initiatives. As you could imagine, this made him a prime target for the War on Drugs, as it was thought that by arresting Emery it would effectively dry up a lot of funding for activists. Whilst this may have been the case short-term, it inspired a whole new wave of activist to join the cause, and put Emery’s ideals squarely in the lime light.
Upon his arrest, his wife, Jodie Emery, took up the reigns of his work and spearheaded the continuing movement. Combined with Mark Emery’s continued activism from prison, they, along with many other activists, have managed to help shape the way recent drug laws have changed.
He is jumping straight back into activism
Emery is predicted to arrive back home somewhere between the 10th and 25th of August, where he will be jumping straight back onto the activism bandwagon and going on a 30 city tour to encourage law reform and education on cannabis. In addition to this there are plans to visit England, Spain, Austria, Ireland and Uruguay to make similar engagements.
In his last blog post from prison Emery wrote; “Jodie [his wife] and I appreciate everything you've done for both us and the movement at large in my absence," he wrote on June 30. "I can't wait to get home to thank you all in person in the weeks and months ahead, and resume the unfinished battle to finish off marijuana prohibition with renewed vigor."
The legalization movement already has a lot of momentum, and now that one of its leaders is back on the scene, it is sure to become an unstoppable force.