The proposed Cannabis Act to legalize marijuana is not being celebrated by longtime activist and advocate of marijuana use Marc Emery.
The marijuana legalization activist who has been jailed several times told Mosaic Edition in an interview that the proposed legislation is “disappointing”.
According to him, the legislation will criminalize various activities of a pot user including getting arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana.
The Government of Canada recently introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis. The proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.
Marc Emery was at the 420 Day in Toronto. It is a day to openly smoke marijuana in a designated area without fear of arrest.
The pot advocate believes the cannabis culture is a “safe culture”.
“Cannabis is safe to consume and pot smokers are very safe to hang around”.
“If parents are concerned with their teenagers they should hope their teenagers are smoking marijuana and hanging around the marijuana kids,” he said.
According to him, “this will make a better choice than hanging around kids who use alcohol, cocaine and other harmful substances”.
Marc Emery has paid dearly for his advocacy of legalization of pot.
“I have been in 36 different prisons and jails and I have been arrested 30 times for marijuana.
“I have seen great progress in the 30 years and I look forward to breaking the law some more and going to jail some more and hopefully we end up with the freedom we deserve which is to be treated like a first class citizen who is not doing anything wrong, who is living a peaceful honest life.”
He is against the sale of marijuana at the government run alcohol stores like the LCBO in Ontario noting that alcohol is “much worse drug than marijuana”.
“My fear is that people will go buy alcohol and then buy marijuana.
“No reason whatsoever alcohol and marijuana should be sold together.
“ Marijuana should be sold in dedicated shops run by cannabis people who love cannabis, who are selling you safe and known cannabis.
“LCBO will not be able to do any of that”.
After the legalization of cannabis in Canada, Marc Emery hopes to travel around the world to help legalize marijuana in other parts of the world.
Despite a heavy downpour earlier in the day Young and Dundas Square in the heart of downtown Toronto was filled with pot smokers and pot vendors. There were speakers, pot themed live music, exhibition of various pot products, gadgets and paraphernalia.
Some merchants were not prepared to go on interview on camera. Some were very nervous of being arrested since the product they are dealing in is still illegal.
There were many casual observers and users who came to be part of the event.
Larry Lutes, 68, travelled about 25 kilometers from Orangeville North West to be part of the 420 Day.
The marathon runner who is a casual user of marijuana carried a placard advocating the use of marihuana in treatment of cancer.
If the legislation is approved by the parliament, cannabis will be legal on Canada Day, July 1, 2018.