MONTREAL — Montreal police have launched raids against illegal cannabis stores opened one day earlier by the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot,” Marc Emery, and his wife, Jodie.
Emery and his wife were among 10 people arrested in Friday’s raids. Police said that all but one person, who refused to sign the release documents, were released on a promise to appear in court.
Canada is moving to legalize marijuana, but it remains illegal.
Marc Emery was extradited in 2010 to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to selling marijuana seeds to American clients from his Vancouver-based store and was sentenced to five years in prison. After spending just over four years behind bars, he was released early in August 2014 on good behavior and flown from a facility in Louisiana to Detroit, before crossing the border into Windsor, Ontario.
The plan for national legalization: Canada’s marijuana task force has outlined 80 recommendations for the country’s potential legal cannabis regime, including a minimum purchase age of 18, retail sales guidelines and a boost in research
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He has become a prominent advocate for marijuana legalization in North America.
Jodie Emery tweeted on Saturday about her arrest saying, “I was arrested at our hotel in Montreal last night, released hours later with no charges. Under investigation. My first time in handcuffs!” She also tweeted that her husband “should be getting out of jail in Montreal today.”
Marc Emery has been expanding his chain of dispensaries across Canada, despite the fact that the drug is still illegal. Cannabis Culture, the brand owned by the Emerys, already has a dozen shops.
Hundreds of customers lined the street throughout the day on Friday to make their first pot purchases at the Mount-Royal, Montreal location.
The store reportedly sold out its stock, leaving only cash for police to find.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal on Friday that “until we’ve changed the law, the current laws exist and apply.”
Ottawa is moving “properly and responsibly,” to legalize marijuana, Trudeau said, but the current law governing cannabis will stand until new legislation is ratified.