Marc Emery's life in marijuana activism goes further than just what I'm writing, but here is a brief overview of some of the Prince of Pot's marijuana accomplishments
After selling 2 Live Crew's banned album, Marc got into the business of selling marijuana literature, and the High Times magazine. At the time this was illegal in Canada, but he had the balls to set up shop right outside of the police station in London, Ontario and invited police to his store to arrest him. This never happened.
Marc Emery started to get people going on the issue of marijuana legalization, planting the seeds of change by requesting that people plant marijuana on government property to "Overgrow the Government"
In 1994 he moved to Vancouver and started up his own store called "Hemp BC." At the time bongs, pipes and marijuana literature were all still illegal, but once again the law did not deter him. He imported and wholesaled all the paraphernalia he could, and encouraged others to start up their own shop and do the same.
Later that year Marc Emery participated in a court challenge to overturn the laws against selling marijuana related literature, including High Times magazine and other grow your own books. This is also the time that Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds started to come into play and in early 1995 he created his own magazine called Cannabis Canada, now known as Cannabis Culture.
Late 1995 saw Marc Emery on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for essentially creating the marijuana seed industry, which led to a load of media attention. Unfortunately this media attention did not simply attract more business, it also brought the Vancouver Police. They raided Hemp BC and took his bongs and seeds, and hit him with 4 counts of selling marijuana seeds at $500 per charge and "Promoting Vaporizers" which was an additional $200. He opened again the next day and began to expand his business.
By 1997 Marc had included a grow shop, legal assistance and the Cannabis Cafe, with a vaporizer built into every table. This led to him being featured on CNN, earning his title "The Prince of Pot" from the announcer, and also once again drew attention from the police. They came back on December 16 of 1997 and once again took all the paraphernalia and seeds, as well as removing the vaporizers installed in the tables. They claimed to have taken $1.6 million worth of paraphernalia as well as tens of thousands of seeds. For this Marc was only charged with assaulting an officer after spitting on him. He did it because the officers, on camera, were assaulting his employees and Marc wanted to show his disgust in a non-violent way.
After being banned from the store's location he sold his business to the manager at the time who ended up having to deal with more police raids, and eventually a revoked business licence.
Marc continued with his seed business and suffered another 2 raids in 1998, and stuck with a $2000 fine. This brought him to close the store-front and turn it into mail order only business.
In 2000 Marc Emery started up Pot-TV, an internet marijuana show, spending over $200000 to convert a basement into a computer studio.
In 2002 when John Walters, an "American Drug Czar" came to speak at a Vancouver Board of Trade Luncheon, Marc Emery purchased a table full of activists, and heckled John as he tried to force the American war on drugs to Canada.
In 2004 Marc was convicted of trafficking because he passed a joint. This led to him serving 61 days in jail, with his supporters on the doorstep holding a vigil throughout his stay.
Marc Emery used the money he made to help fund a wide variety of marijuana activist groups from fundraising for the BC Marijuana Party, to legal challenges on Cannabis law. He paid more than $500000 in taxes to the Canadian government for his business from 1998 until 2005 when he was raided once again, at the request of the DEA, for "Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana Seeds, and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering"
Charges were not laid in Canada and the US began their quest to extradite Marc for sentencing in the states.
I don't know if it is just me but there are two charges laid on Marc that I find extremely confusing. The first is the "Promoting Vaporizers" charge. Vaporizers are a safe and healthy alternative for smoking, so how promoting them is a crime I will never know.
Also the money laundering charges confuse me because it is clear that Marc was paying his taxes, and running a legitimate Canadian business. Perhaps his donations to activist groups may have led to the idea of laundering, but at almost $100000 in taxes a year I seriously doubt the claim has any grounds.
Either way next time I will be going a little more into detail on the 2005 extradition case, and I will have a list of organized links to some Emery related video including Paul Mckeever's Principle of Pot.