Marc and Jodie EmeryMarc and Jodie Emery

Marc and Jodie Emery

 

Jodie (CAN, 1985) and Marc Emery (CAN, 1958) are currently one of the best-known celebrity cannabis couples in the world, thanks to their dedicated activism and tireless campaigning, even in the face of extreme adversity. 

Marc EmeryMarc Emery
Counterculture icon

 

Marc Emery’s career as a counterculture icon who made an impact on mainstream as well as underground politics began in 1975, when he left high school early to open a second-hand bookshop in his native Ontario, Canada. Re-naming it City Lights Bookshop, Emery established it as a base for like-minded people to connect, as well as obtain supressed or forbidden literature, including information about cannabis. He retained the shop until 1992, moving to Vancouver two years later to open another shop, Hemp BC, which specialized in cannabis paraphernalia, at the time illegal to sell in Canada. 

Marc EmeryMarc Emery
Peaceful revolution

 

Later in 1992, Marc Emery attended the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam and was inspired by a speech given by Ben Dronkers during the closing ceremony, explaining that Dronkers had been responsible for disseminating millions of seeds, thereby creating millions and millions of cannabis plants. Emery realized immediately that this was the best way to achieve a peaceful revolution. Just months later, at the end of 1994, Hemp BC was stocking a selection of Dutch cannabis seeds. 

Marc EmeryMarc Emery
Sending seeds

 

By 2002, despite his businesses being repeatedly sabotaged by police raids, Emery had transferred his energies to internet activities and mail-order sales of cannabis seeds. In an interview from that year, he said "Unlike most other seed dealers, I use my real name and I'm easy to find. I've been selling marijuana seeds for eight years, sending seeds to growers all over the world, including diverse places like the Czech Republic, Japan, Australia, England, South Africa, and even Korea. Business is better every year…” 

Marc and Jodie EmeryMarc and Jodie Emery
Extradition to the US

Marc Emery took the profits from his business and ploughed them back into the political side of cannabis activism all over the world, from Alaska to New Zealand. It was this affluent activism that was to be his eventual downfall, as the DEA admitted following his arrest in 2005. By this time, Marc had fallen for one of his staff – the smart and determined Jodie – and in 2006 they were married. Their relationship helped to sustain them both through the years of legal tangles that followed, as Marc faced 30 years to life in a US jail. Refusing to give up his two co-accused colleagues, he made a plea-bargain for a 5 year sentence in exchange for them receiving no prison time. US officials were willing to allow him to serve out his sentence in Canada, but Canadian authorities were having none of it and finally forced his extradition to the US in 2010. 

Jodie EmeryJodie Emery
Jodie Emery

Four years later, Marc was reunited with his wife Jodie. In his absence, Jodie Emery had co-ordinated and consolidated the local and global support for Marc, run for office on behalf of the Green Party of British Columbia and the British Columbia Marijuana Party, and taken the online magazine Cannabis Culture, Pot TV and the retail outlet Cannabis Culture Headquarters from strength to strength. Jodie Emery has described herself as a “business owner and political activist” with “a lifelong interest in issues related to freedom, peace, and justice”, and she is indeed one of the most outspoken, serious and politically motivated women in cannabis on the American continent, if not in the world, today. Frequently asked to speak at rallies, conferences and other events in Canada and the US, she is a smart and articulate presence. 

Marc and Jodie EmeryMarc and Jodie Emery
First time for married couple

Taken separately, either of the Emerys is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield of cannabis prohibition and legalization. Once again physically united, their combined strength is undoubtedly greater than the sum of their parts, as so many have witnessed on the numerous cannabis events they have attended recently worldwide. It should come as no surprise that the Emerys have been chosen to receive a Cannabis Culture Award; this is also the first time that a Cannabis Culture Award has been presented to a married couple in recognition of equal dedication and motivation to create true and lasting change in the world of cannabis.