'Prince of Pot' Marc Emery arrives back in Canada
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 7:15AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 13, 2014 7:30AM EDT
Through a cloud of marijuana smoke, the “prince of pot” made his return to Canada.
Marc Emery’s supporters lit joints and used pot vaporizers as they waited outside Windsor City Hall for him to cross back into Canada from Detroit Tuesday afternoon.
“I’m glad to see I’ve got friends,” Emery said shortly after 4 p.m. to the cheering crowd of dozens. “It’s really touching, actually.”
Emery was extradited to Seattle in 2010 where he pleaded guilty to selling marijuana seeds to American customers. The 56-year-old London, Ont., native was sentenced to five years in prison in September 2010.
In front of cameras and microphones, Emery talked about his experience with the “polite” people in prison.
“I feel good now, I did good things with my time,” he said. “I learned to become a bassist in a rock-and-roll band.”
At 4:20 p.m., a time and number associated with marijuana use, the crowd briefly became rowdy, drowning Emery out as he began to talk politics.
“Well, don’t let me interrupt your celebration,” he joked over the noise, adding that the marijuana in the air smelled “like a party.”
“It smells like Canada,” responded someone in the crowd.
Though marijuana isn’t the official scent of the country, the sentiment is supported by recent numbers. A new Angus Reid Global poll shows that six out of 10 Canadians would support pro-marijuana legislation. And Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which made it a mandate to legalize pot, have a comfortable lead over the Conservative party, according to polls from Forum Research and EKOS Research.
Emery, who said he hadn’t smoked since his extradition, threw his weight behind the Liberals, urging the crowd to vote in the 2015 federal election.
“I know it’s the most uncool thing in the world to say, especially to young people.” he said. "We absolutely have to get our families, our friends, to get out and register to vote -- and we have to get out and vote."
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney was quick to react to Emery’s statements, denouncing the “convicted drug trafficker" and Trudeau.
"While the Liberals would try to make it easier for our children to access marijuana, Canadians can count on our government to put forward policies that keep drugs off our streets and keep our families safe," reads the statement.
Emery also quipped about his detractors, saying a Liberal majority would benefit those who dislike his public presence.
“You won’t have to hear from me again in 18 months,” he said.
“Only until we make marijuana legalized – then you’re free!”
With files from the Canadian Press