Opening Statement



Monday, 8 May 2017

Protest Videos! - The 19th Toronto Marijuana March!



On Saturday May 6th 2017, Toronto cannabis activists marched to protest the Trudeau government's legalization plans in Canada. Wait a minute! Cannabis activists marching against legal weed?

Ironically, yes it's true! It was absolutely necessary too! To wit; in her fight against "complacency", Grand Marshall Jodie Emery [Flare] lead the march carrying two signs that read:

"Just Say No To Cannabis Arrests!" and "No More Marijuana Arrests!"


Further protest chants included;

"No More Raids!"
"Fuck Project Gator!" 
"This is What a Police State Looks Like!"
"We're Here! We're High! Get Use to It!"

And last but not least, frequent calls for "Freedom" and "Amnesty!"

The march proceeded north from the Green Market gathering point on Queen's Park Crescent at Charles Street, outside the provincial legislature. We marched east on Bloor St, and south on Yonge, our protest numbers blocking both lanes of traffic. At Wellesley Street, the march turned west, back to Queen's Park again.


Marchers included a happy mix of cannabis activists both old and new. Although we were visibly angry, it was a very positive and empowering march. There were medical cannabis patients. Rights activists. Heritage tokers who remember the bad old days only too well. And newbies who don't want to see it happen again, under "legalization".

Saturday's march was fueled by anger over the Trudeau government's largely ignored attempts to create a police enforced monopoly over the legalization process in Canada. It's easy to see why that rubs us the wrong way; both grass root activists and simple enthusiasts alike, in our homegrown, Canadian, cannabis community.

A quick history lesson -For almost 100 years, Canada's independent growers, producers, and dealers, as well as medical and recreational users, have been discriminated against by our countries cannabis laws. It's been done with extreme prejudice to Latin's, Asians, the poor and the disenfranchised in general. Socially, economically, politically or otherwise, -any discontent? Anyone could be arrested, rounded up and contained at will! When we got out of line, even today's pot smoking baby boomers faced arrests, jail time, criminal records and the loss of our most basic civil rights as a Canadian citizen. All justified, without reliable medical evidence or any serious debate about the "danger of cannabis", under our countries false and racist prohibition laws from the 1920's. [CBC] [Star]

Now comes Prohibition 2.0! Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected on a promise to legalize cannabis in 2015, police have actually stepped up their cannabis busts. The "Cannabis Culture 5's," Marc and Jodie Emery provide a case in point, as do Toronto's Project Claudia and the cross country Project Gator cannabis dispensary raids in general. These have all been documented at length on the social media and here at my blogsite, as well as by the mainstream media [Sun] [Straight] [Marij]


Why are Canada's independent cannabiz community being target in record numbers like never before? A short year before legalization? To raise prices for more taxes! And to clear the way for the Trudeau government's small number of hand picked licensed producers! So that they can create a huge monopoly over the big bucks to soon be made with legally "regulated" weed. As concerned stock ticker speculators on Bay Street keep careful watch on the profit margins too! [HighTimes]

Marc and Jodie are Canada's most well known, uncompromising and "in your face" cannabis power couple. They have personally put everything on the line to help get the job done right, with a more, effective, community based, and traditional free enterprise mindset, as Canada becomes the first G7 country to legalize weed.

A stalwart Libertarian, Marc has invested millions of Cannabis Culture's profits into our Canadian legalization effort. His activism is guided by a strong, principled belief in our most basic civic rights. Agree or disagree with him on an issue, he invariably sparks a much needed public debate where it's otherwise sadly lacking.

The Emery's Cannabis Culture brand first gained notoriety as an Canadian seed magazine and mail order company. That earned Marc a highly dubious 5 year prison term in the United States even though he didn't break any laws in Canada. [CBC] Since then, it's become very popular and successful again, as a grass root, neighbourhood style, craft cannabis, dispensary franchise. [Wiki]

The Emery's had planned to open a chain of 200 new stores across Canada in 2017. [Post] Surprise! They became the indie showcase target of the Project Gator police raids this March instead! Just before Trudeau announced his corporate monopoly "legalization" plans for next year!


It's specially fitting that one of Emery's was again asked to marshal the 19th Annual Toronto Global Marijuana March. This year Jodie lead the charge, with Marc in tow, to help shake hands, share a toke, and spread the good word. Certainly they are up to the job. As a very progressive couple, they are most fitting representatives for our forward thinking Canadian cannabis community. In true style, they seem comfortable switch hitting on the fly, or in taking care of business separately or together, as need be.

Add an eager group of Canadian cannabis activists! What do we get? The 19th Annual Toronto Marijuana March afforded the collective anger of Toronto's cannabis community a loud voice in the public debate otherwise being denied to us by our elected federal "leaders".

Enough! So much for suffering in silence!

Mr. Trudeau, you have been put on notice! We've had enough of your reefer madness!

PS: There is much more to report! Some more news stories will be included in my Oh Cannabis News y Views 4 blog [LINK]. A blog on the Green Market at Queens Park Crescent will also follow shortly.


PROTEST VIDEOS

My live videos from the march are now posted on Youtube. Here are the links and some brief notes:

19th Annual Toronto Global Marijuana March 1: Or as we can hear the protesters chant; "Fuck Project Gator"! Jodie kick starts the march, with a police escort nonetheless, heading north from the Queen's Park provincial legislature. You can even see the CN Tower in the background! How Toronto! @ HERE!

19th Annual Toronto Global Marijuana March 2: The lively protest approaches Bloor and Yonge. Downtown traffic in Canada's largest city grinds to a halt @ HERE!

Jodie Emery: Why We Protest? As Jodie says, "No to complacency!" Yes to an "freedom", "amnesty" and a "moratorium" on the police busts and arrests @ HERE!

Jodie Emery: No More Busts! "No Prohibition 2.0!" or "The law is the law?" Jodie points out that police have a lot of discretionary power, despite what they say. She notes that there aren't any busts at the Green Market or during the march. Also, she speaks with some of the medical cannabis patients in attendance about how the dispensary busts drastically limits our right of access to safe weed @ HERE!

Tokin' With Marc Emery!: Canada's "High Prince of Pot" smokes a festive joint with some of the everyday cannabis activists and enthusiasts in attendance while reflecting on Prohibition 2.0, and Cannabis Cultures path forward @ THERE!

MARC + JODIE EMERY -MY BLOGS!


This is a list of my blogs on Marc and Jodie Emery's Cannabis Culture story, as seen from here in my hometown of Toronto, Ontario Canada:

On Cannabis Culture and Toronto's Wild West: Oh! Oh! Toronto Mayor John Tory's "Wild West Show" targets Marc's first Church Street LGBTQ dispensary. It's a sleazy, slum landlord takedown tale. Reminds me of a bad, b-grade, cowboy movie with the mayor in the black, oversized, ten gallon hat @ HERE!

On Marc Emery + The Ontario's Pot Busts: Here's a report on the Peterborough Cannabis Culture raid and Marc's protest afterwards at the police station. Nope! They won't come out to talk! Also includes my notes on his speech to the faithful at the busted, ransacked dispensary @ THERE!

Oh Cannabis: More On Ontario's Dispensary Busts: Cannabis Culture's down but not out! My follow up on the fall 2016 raids is @ HERE!

Toronto Karma Cup 2016: Drat! Foiled! More of Mayor John Tory's Wild West Show! Toronto City Hall unsuccessfully tries to ruin our 2016 cannabis cup, but Marc comes up with a plan @ THERE!


Oh Cannabis: On LGBTQ + Inclusivity: Cannabis Culture's second Church Street location quickly becomes a landmark, downtown, gathering place. It's a friendly place where Toronto locals, progressives and our LGBTQ community can comfortably and freely mix beyond the corporate legalization shadow. No effort is spared in repeatedly busting it. Or in pulling another fast one to finally shut it down! Old habits die hard! The bitter irony seems lost on Mayor John Tory and his henchmen, because the "law is the law" -just like during the Toronto Cherry Beach gay beatings and the infamous police downtown bathhouse raids! @ HERE!

Free The Emerys -The Cannabis Culture Bust: My live coverage of the Cannabis Culture 5's bail hearing @ THERE!

Oh Cannabis Culture: The Project Gator Busts: More, as the Cannabis Culture 5 are released. Leading edge activist duo Chris and Erin Goodwin, along with Britney Guerra also speak out about the necessity of civil disobedience in the struggle @ THERE!

A Toke With Marc + Jodie Emery: I catch up with the Emery's for a toke. We discuss the dire implications of the dispensary busts for Toronto's medical cannabis users. Also includes a report on Cannabis activist Dana Larsen's "Overgrow Canada" cross country project and tour @ HERE!

Oh Cannabis News Y Views: Many more informative links from Winter 2016-17 are posted here @ 12 @ 3 @ 4


COMING:

The Green Market: -The 19th Toronto Marijuana March!

Green Leaf Vape Pens -A Product Review!

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