Newspaper article The Canadian Press

U.S. to Free Marc Emery, Canada's 'Prince of Pot,' after 5-Year Imprisonment

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

U.S. to Free Marc Emery, Canada's 'Prince of Pot,' after 5-Year Imprisonment

Article excerpt

U.S. to free Marc Emery after 5-year pot term

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VANCOUVER - When the poster child for marijuana legalization is released from a U.S. prison later this week, he'll be re-entering a world where many of his ideas have taken root and in some places have sprouted right up.

Marc Emery, Canada's self-styled "Prince of Pot," concludes a five-year sentence on Wednesday and will emerge into a lucrative marijuana landscape, where two U.S. states are now issuing recreational pot licences, medical growers are reaping profits and investors aren't hedging on potential opportunities.

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.

On Monday, Washington state distributed for the first time licences to 24 shopkeepers who will hawk legal marijuana, while New York simultaneously became the 23rd U.S. state to authorize pot as medicinal treatment.

"I wish he hadn't gone to prison," said his wife Jodie Emery in an interview, just before boarding a flight at a Mississippi airport after her final visit to the Yazoo City institution. "But it's almost fitting that he had to go down into the belly of the beast of America where the drug war begins, and where it has pressure in Canada, and spend his time in the United States to oversee all the success from his work."

She lauded her husband for spurring much of the shift in legal regulations and social consciousness while he's been locked away.

"Marc (can take) a lot of credit for everything happening in the United States. And of course it's a wonderful feeling to see that his mission has been accomplished," said the 29-year-old, who's assumed much of the advocacy work and has been managing their marijuana paraphernalia store. "He was successful, even though he had to pay the price for it."

Marc Emery started selling pot seeds in 1994 to raise money to support activist groups, lobbyists, court cases and ballot initiatives. …

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