Weed activist Marc Emery is set to protest Quebec’s restrictive cannabis laws

Emery is hawking black market pot leaf merchandise in a challenge to provincial authorities

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Pulling from his 90s activism roots, Canada’s Prince of Pot is traveling to Montreal to protest Quebec’s restrictive cannabis laws.

In May, Emery faced three charges in a Montreal court for a 2016 incident relating to six Cannabis Culture locations. Two charges for drug possession and conspiracy were dropped, but Emery pleaded guilty to trafficking.

Now, he’s heading back armed to the teeth with swag brandishing the classic icon of weed culture—ye olde pot leaf.

From noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday (November 11), Emery is staging a protest outside of the provincially-owned société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) store on 970 Ste. Catherines West. The long-time activist is set to sell $1,500 in “rare banned-in-Quebec” t-shirts, lighters, flags, and stickers ranging from 10 cents to $7 a piece.

“Witness history in the making as I challenge Quebec authorities to charge me with “promotion of cannabis” if they have the belief of their unjust and illegal laws! Do they have the guts to follow through on their authoritarian edicts?!! Be there to witness,” he wrote in a post on Facebook.

The province exclusively controls the sale of weed through the SQDC. As each province has the rights to set its own laws surrounding the sale and distribution of cannabis, Quebec has also banned the sale of products with any non-government-approved promotional imagery—including a pot leaf. 

Section 50 of Quebec’s Cannabis Regulation Act reads: "The operator of a business or a cannabis producer may not sell, give away or exchange an object that is not cannabis if a name, logo, distinctive sign, design, image or slogan that is directly associated with cannabis, a cannabis brand, the Société québécoise du cannabis or a cannabis producer appears on this (product)."

If charged, Emery and his legal team can challenge the law banning the promotion of cannabis.

According to the 2019 municipal budget, five million dollars is earmarked to fund a taskforce dedicated to smoking out unregulated cannabis dealers and subsequently confiscating illicit product.

In a report by CTV Montreal, a spokesperson from Quebec’s health ministry confirmed the government created 31 positions for inspectors tasked with fining those in violation of the new laws. Charges range from $5,000 to $62,500, and can double for repeat offenders.

In a message to the Straight, Emery says he the move will likely put him in breach of both federal and provincial law being that he is still serving probation for past convictions. If charged while in Montreal, he could face a fine from the provincial government and jail time for violating federal terms of probation.

For the past several months, Emery has been on a global enlightenment tour, stopping in countries around the world to educate the masses on the benefits and realities of cannabis legalization.

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