I have been marching for cannabis liberation since before it was cool. Through these long years of hoping, praying & screaming for the end of prohibition, I have seen a few cannabis crusaders rise to quasi-celebrity status within the movement. Some, like the Emery’s hit celebrity status even in the mainstream.
To be fair, Emery was a celebrity from the Sunday shopping crusade (something I have never forgiven him for, as I think it has done nothing for us, except make us so fucking tired and even more overworked than we already are) Anyway, my point is Marc is not a one trick pony, he has been influencing Canadian politics for many many years on way more things than just cannabis. Any celebrity he has, is well earned, even if I don’t necessarily agree with everything he fought her.
In my opinion, his incarceration was a politically motivated immoral strategy that betrayed Canadian sovereignty. 5 yrs of your life is a big thing to sacrifice just to make a point-I respect him for it.
His arrest, trial, and incarceration, as tragic as it was, brought much attention to the prohibition movement. It was much needed attention that fuelled a public mainstream conversation we were begging for, but finding difficult to have.
Now that Emery is being released, and his wife campaigning for Prince Trudeau, they are back in the headlines and pretty much getting all the credit for all the advancements in the cause.
I can attest that there are countless activists that you have never heard of, that have lobbied for these changes and have been a huge part of the progress this movement has seen in recent years. The Emery’s are not the only ones that have dedicated their entire lives to the cause but they are the ones that get the most recognition for it.
Do I begrudge it? No! I certainly don’t deserve accolades. I mean, I did my part in a time most were too afraid to. I marched at protests, volunteered at Cannabis Days, wrote blogs, articles, twitter…..I did my part, but it was very little. I still held a ‘regular job’ and lobbied for many other causes besides cannabis. I also got resentful of the cliquish high school type social competitions of who was “the best cannabis activist” -the constant mini feuds turned me off the whole scene, and that distance impaired any hope of me making much of a difference for the movement.
Many other activists in different parts of the country have done FAR more than I have. They have put their homes, lives, families & freedom at risk in order the fight for such a worthy cause, despite mandatory minimums. I was not that brave. Others have worked tirelessly lobbying the different parties for a change in policy platform – something I was not motivated to do either besides twitter rant from bed.
These countless crusaders that helped Emery maintain and grow momentum are not getting the recognition that the Emery’s are getting for their contribution to the movement, and that is unfortunate. Let me be clear, the legalization movement is a group effort.
Having said that, if there is to be an ambassador for the movement, I’d say Jodie Emery is a stellar representative, and it pains me to see that some people in the legalization community resent the stardom coming her way. I see a subliminal sense of entitlement, that because other activists have put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears that they should be at the forefront of the movement or getting at least some acknowledgement for their efforts.
I’m glad Jodie Emery is getting so much time on the airwaves. She is articulate & poised. Most importantly, she is professional and therefore digestible to the few the movement has yet to convince. I certainly cannot do what she is able to do. With my nappy dreadlocks and my 13 fucks a minute vocabulary, I would turn off the majority of Conservatives hearing/watching me speak. I know other very passionate and dedicated activists who are up and down emotionally, cannot handle their temper, and therefore often speak publicly in an uncensored crude way (myself included) –all this is sincere perhaps, but not really the kind of enlightened image the movement needs to achieve credibility among the conservative voting block that we are trying to influence.
Jodie Emery however is incredibly polished, and never seems to lose her cool, which is the exact thing this movement needs. I know a lot of other activists that are quite publicly present – but I can’t say that any one of them are as presentable, poised, or polished as she is. I’m not saying that they are less dedicated or have made less impact – some of them may have even had more of an impact – especially on the liberal party’s change of policy position & Trudeau’s sudden about-face on the issue. The fact still remains, impact or no impact behind-the-scenes, Jodie is still the most articulate, presentable, polished & PR savvy (that I can see.)
Marc made the sacrifice, and even while sitting in horrible prison conditions, he still made an impact -especially in the US. While he was gone, Jodie truly rose to the occasion – she was literally astounding. The community should be giving Jodie in particular a standing ovation right now and Marc deserves the warmest of warm welcomes. She is a mainstream media darling, and that is exactly what the movement needs right now.
I celebrate any and all celebrity that Jodie and Marc enjoy in the coming years. I say this, and I don’t trust Trudeau, I certainly don’t trust the Liberals, so I’m not necessarily even supportive of their support of the liberals, although I understand it. What I celebrate is the level of polished articulate professionalism the Emery’s bring to this new public conversation. This is a critical time for the movement, and the Sheeple public can’t be distracted by things like appearances, bad language, tempers, or personal baggage/scandal that erode our credibility in the mind of the conservative voting block we are hoping to influence.
I really believe Marc is going to come home with renewed vigour, and with him and Jodie united, and SO public…and about to become even more public, the mainstream tide is shifting and legalization is just around the corner. If anybody can pull this off, it’s the Emery’s. They have my support.