Sunday, March 26, 2006

Marc Emery at Concordia – Report

There is irony at work.

It’s fair to describe me as a Cannabis aficionado. I smoke almost daily (though almost never before 10:00 PM in order to keep my productivity up…not that you would know it from my infrequent blog updates) and I’m significantly concerned with its legalization since I feel it’ll change humanity for the better rather than for the worse. That said, I’m pragmatic and I don’t blind myself to the downsides of the plant: it’s almost certainly bad for the lungs (all smoke is), it can render people lethargic and like anything, a small percentage of humanity will overdo it and fuck it up for the rest of us.

With this position in mind, I went to see Marc Emery at Concordia University last Friday. For those who are unaware of Marc’s plight here’s the abridged version. He’s sold a fuckton of marijuana seeds across the world via mail order and used the proceeds to finance the legalization of the plant since he believes that the persecution of cannabis smokers is wrong. He was never charged with much jail time by Canadian authorities and has always acted in the open and paid his taxes. Unfortunately, the American DEA hates his guts because of this and is demanding his extradition to the US where he would face 30 years to life in prison as the number 1 drug kingpin in the world. That’s a lot for selling seeds considering he’s given all the money away. His court hearing is expected to come very soon and fearing for the worst under Harper (scumbag) he’s been traveling across Canada on a farewell tour to speak about this injustice as well as Marijuana in general.

He had a lot to say on that later subject…much of it dubious unfortunately.

Like I stated earlier, I’m pragmatic about Cannabis. Emery however is a cheerleader in every sense of the word which is sad because he has some very thought provoking arguments that get lost amid the more questionable comments. His assertion that weed smokers are a culture (Marijuana people) seems particularly dubious (not doobie-us) because outside of a small radical minority, Cannabis is a minor part of a smoker’s life. I don’t define myself through pot smoking anymore than I do through alcohol and it’d be quite a stretch to call me a “beer person”. Emery also quoted biblical reasons for smoking pot and you guys already know how I feel about biblical justification for ANYTHING (if you don’t, the Bible as a literal text is bullshit) Then he mentioned how weed would cure cancer, make me drive better, improve my sex life and  that no one had ever shot a cop over weed. These were just some of the things that left me scratching my head going man what the hell is he smoking?

If you need me to answer that question you should probably be smoking less.

On the other hand, Emery was a very active speaker (think of a Tarentino style motor mouth going on about the wonders of weed) and stated some very valid points: marijuana itself doesn’t make anyone violent and we desperately need to get it out of the hands of organized crime. Practically all of the great artists of the past 50 years have smoked weed regularly and it’s an incredible tool to open the mind. Also, as much as his cultural talk was mumbo jumbo he did speak a fundamental truth: the moment you smoke weed is the moment you realize that everything you’ve ever been told about anything is total bull. Now it’s very possible to find this out without weed but in my case it helped a lot and as a person who very much disagrees with how the people in charge are running this planet, I’m glad I can piss them off by smoking even if I hope I can do it legally (which would still piss them off). He also proposed a fun game, take your CD collection and divide it up with the artists who smoke weed on one side and those who don’t on the other. Then decide which pile you want to be on a desert island with. Thought so.

I didn’t get to stay until the end of the conference due to time constraints and the fact I can only listen about weed for so long, but all in all it was an interesting speech if not one I totally agreed with. I guess the world needs determined zealots like Marc Emery to change things because there’s a hell of a lot of zealots on the other side who are claiming even more lies to keep weed illegal. I wish he’d spoken more about his pending legal case but I guess there’s not much to be said and that he wants to keep the details under wraps. All in all, an interesting time and I urge you to find out more at www.cannabisculture.com.

Oh and the irony of this post? I’m taking a week off weed to save money and flush my system clean.

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