The so-called Princess of Pot says she finds it “offensive” that former high-profile figures in law enforcement are now poised to cash in on marijuana legalization after spending the bulk of their careers enforcing what she considers draconian weed laws.
“It’s similar to a homophobic priest trying to draft legislation for gay marriage,” Jodie Emery told CityNews on Thursday. “It’s a position that they’ve never held before. They’re not respectable on that issue.”
Emery was referring to people like former OPP commissioner Julian Fantino, and former RCMP deputy commissioner Raf Souccar.
They’re now both at the helm of the medicinal marijuana company Aleafia, in Vaughan.
Aleafia is not a dispensary. The company says it will connect patients with medically authorized cannabis-related treatments at locations across the Greater Toronto Area.
Fantino has previously expressed his opposition to marijuana legalization, tweeting in 2015 that he was “completely opposed” to the idea.
He later said he had a change of heart on the topic after speaking to veterans who successfully used marijuana to treat their PTSD. Fantino was minister of Veterans Affairs between 2012 and 2015.
When asked about former cops delving into the once vilified industry, Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi would only say, “People are free to get involved in that economic activity. Our focus is to make sure that they’re within the bounds of the law.”
But Jodie Emery and her husband, the Prince of Pot Marc Emery, aren’t free to join the burgeoning industry. Instead they’re facing serious drug charges stemming from their ownership of the now-defunct Cannabis Culture chain of marijuana dispensaries.
Despite being pioneers and early activists in the soon-to-be legitimized marijuana industry, they won’t be allowed to profit off its legalization.
“I find it very offensive that law enforcement and politicians who’ve put us in handcuffs and put us in jail and gave us records, are now cashing in on the very thing that they called us criminals for doing before,” she said.
Emery is calling on the federal government to drop all marijuana-related charges. The government is considering allowing those with minor possession charges to play a role in legalization — a public consultation has been launched on that matter — but individuals with more serious trafficking charges won’t be part of the conversation.