Marc has always been a hero to me. In the early 90’s I used to visit his bookstore in the funky cool part of London, he had a great collection of music books and was starting to carry a large inventory of hemp books. Every time I’d come to town it was a must see, we’d chat and I’d buy some books.
The above photo is from a pretty good article on the CBC website showing the timeline of Canadian hemp activists Marc Emery. I knew Marc and this timeline reminded me of my contact with him in the early 90’s. The article also reminded me of the fact that Marc is still being detained by the US government in a politically motivated crusade to take the air out of the anti prohibition movement. Essentially Marc was martyred by his own government when they allowed a US lead investigation on Canadian soil for a crime that did not exist in Canada, where Marc had done all his business.
The article only enforces Marc’s hero status to me. In the early 90’s I used to visit his bookstore in the funky cool part of London, Ontario. He had a great collection of music books and was starting to carry a large inventory of hemp books. Every time I’d come to town it was a must see, we’d chat and I’d buy some books.
Marc knew I lived in Toronto and one time while I was shopping he said that there was going to be a hemp rally at Toronto City Hall, the first hemp rally since the courts ruled that hemp seeds were not illegal. He said I should take a box of books and sell them, he then filled a box with a collection of hemp/grow/culture books and handed them to me saying I could pay him later for what I sold.
He also gave me a list of wholesale contacts for other hemp suppliers and the advice that if I filled a table there I would sell everything because the big names were coming up from the states and they couldn’t bring any inventory. A selfish person would not have given away not only his product but the keys to a business too.
Of course I sold everything I brought but in addition to his books I also had hemp paper, hemp clothes and hemp seeds in neat little one pound bags! Also I got to spend the entire day sitting between Jack Herer and Ed Rosenthal. This quickly turned into a business and I was the first hemp seller at the Toronto Vegetarian Show among other things. I got to meet a ton of great people and when I had to give it up I took a lesson from Marc and divided up my inventory and contact lists and gave them to a really nice couple that was just starting out in hemp. The guy from that couple now runs the largest hemp store in Canada.
Marc has planted thousands of seeds of goodwill and I hope it comes back to him soon.
UPDATE: Marc has been released from prison and has returned home. As a Canadian I’m upset and embarrassed by this government and I wish Marc all the best.