A Canadian man who spent four years in a U.S. prison for running a marijuana mail order business is on his way home. And he’s already promising to wreak revenge on the political leaders he blames for putting him there.
Marc Emery, a longtime advocate for legalization in British Columbia, was sentenced to five years in federal prison in 2010 for manufacture of cannabis. He was recently transferred from prison to a deportation facility in Louisiana.
His release to Canada is expected by the end of August. Emery said he’s frustrated with the way officials are handling his release. Once he’s back home, he said, he plans to work against conservative politicians who not only went after his business but allowed the U.S. government to take custody of him.
“My own government betrayed me, and I’m going to wreak an appropriate amount of political revenge when I get home and campaign against the Conservative government,” Emery said. “The whole thing is nonsense. I should never have been turned over to the U.S. government.”
Emery supports the Liberal party, which has discussed legalization in recent months. The Conservative-led government, on the other hand, strongly opposes cannabis reform and has tried to interfere with medical marijuana, which is allowed under a court ruling from the early 2000s.
Justin Trudeau, a member of the Canadian Parliament and leader of the Liberal Party, supports broader legalization and has pushed the issue to the center of national politics.
Conservative leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, oppose the idea and have tried to portray Trudeau as a pothead because he admitted to toking after joining Parliament.
Emery and his wife, Jodie, have planned rallies in 30 cities across Canada to support Trudeau and unseat Conservative candidates.
“Hopefully we’ll do a good job and get the young people to vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and get that legalization agenda enacted in Canada as soon as possible,” Emery said.
Despite Trudeau’s openness to legalization, the Liberals have tried to keep a distance from the Emerys.
The party “does not endorse the Emerys’ plans in any way,” said Dave Sommer, Liberal spokesman. “They are not affiliated with the party and we haven’t had any hand in planning these events at all.”
Emery complained that officials in the United States and Canada have been dragging their feet on his deportation.
“I’ve been DNA tested, and fingerprinted, and chained and shackled every inch of the way throughout the United States prison system,” he said. “So the Canadian government knows who I am, they have my passport. So is all this rigmarole necessary to get me back to Canada?”