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‘Prince’ and ‘Princess of Pot’ arrested and released in Montreal dispensary raids


Marc and Jodie Emery, the “Prince” and “Princess of Pot”, were reportedly arrested and released in Montreal on Friday — just one day after the marijuana activist couple opened six Cannabis Culture dispensaries within city limits.

“Marc Emery was arrested along wither with several employees after mass raids and arrests at the several new Cannabis Culture Dispensary locations which opened in Montreal yesterday,” reads a post by Cannabis Culture on Facebook early Saturday morning.

The post goes on to say that Jodie Emery and Jeremiah Vandermeer, listed as Cannabis Culture’s chief of operations, were arrested at their hotel “for related reasons.” As of early Saturday morning, Cannabis Culture hadn’t responded to requests for comment.

The Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM) said in a release on Friday that six dispensaries were raided by their officers on Friday, netting 10 suspects, 40 pounds of marijuana, and cash. Neither Cannabis Culture, not the names of the 10 suspects, was mentioned.

All 10 face charges relating to trafficking in narcotics, and possession with intent to traffic, the SPVM release said.

Cannabis Culture, a private marijuana dispensary chain, operates in several cities across Canada, including Toronto. Several of dispensaries were among the 43 raided during “Project Claudia”, a massive crackdown by Toronto Police Service officers last May.

Denis Coderre, the Mayor of Montreal, did issue a warning on Twitter this Thursday — hours after the Cannabis Culture storefronts opened — that the city had “zero tolerance” for dispensaries operating illegally.

At an unrelated news conference Friday, a few hours before the arrests, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal that “until we’ve changed the law, the current laws exist and apply.”

Jodie Emery admitted to reporters on Thursday that the new Cannabis Culture dispensaries were illegal under current federal law, but pleaded for the SPVM to leave them alone.

“I beg the Montreal police, let us be in peace. Please do not cause harm to the harmless people that are choosing to work here and push forward this very important issue,” Emery said Thursday.

Jodie and Marc Emery have been arrested numerous times during their years of pro-marijuana activism. Marc also spent four-and-a-half years in U.S. prison for selling to American customers from his stores in Vancouver.

Cannabis Culture’s Facebook page said early Saturday morning that Jeremiah Vandermeer and Jodie Emery had been released from police custody, but remain under investigation. The exact charges against them weren’t specified.

“Two of our brave leaders have been released from custody … but the fight is not over!” the post reads.

Friday afternoon, Coderre followed up on his initial Twitter warning with advice to supporters of marijuana legalization: focus on the legislative process, not a “useless stunt.”

“Respect the law” it ended.

With files from The Canadian Press

TORONTO STAR | NEWS | CANADA

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