August 13, 2005

"The right to be free, the right to own the fruits of your mind and effort now all made sense."

Marc Emery has, by his own admission, sold over $4 million in marijuana seeds. The U.S. government is now seeking his extradition from Canada, and the NYT offers an awfully sympathetic profile – as profiles of criminals go:
Mr. Emery describes himself as "a responsible libertarian, not a hedonist," who extols the virtues of capitalism, low taxes, small government and the right of citizens to bear arms.

He said he grew up a social democrat, influenced by his father, who was active in trade union work. But he said his life changed in 1979 when he began reading the works of Ayn Rand, who championed individual freedom and capitalism.

"The right to be free, the right to own the fruits of your mind and effort now all made sense," he recalled. Only a few months after discovering Rand, his girlfriend at the time offered him a joint and he smoked marijuana for the first time.

IT was an epiphany," he said. "I had a sixth sense added to my five senses. The silence sounded different, smells were more nuanced and the brightness of the moon made it look bigger and more substantial in the sky."

The combination of Rand's philosophy and the marijuana set him on a course of advocacy in which, he said, "I decided to dedicate my whole life to repudiate the state."

Then living in London, Ontario, he sold banned marijuana and pornography books and magazines, contested laws limiting the right of stores to open on Sundays and led a municipal tax revolt. He even resisted a municipal garbage strike, by renting a truck and picking up the garbage himself.

After traveling for a while in Asia, however, he has dedicated his efforts to promoting marijuana and its culture.

"Now the Goliath, now the evil empire has made its move on me," Mr. Emery told his Web site audience. But he promised that his crusade would continue "till liberty or till death."
The Times links to his website, where he appeals for money to fight his extradition. (Supposedly he's spent all the millions he's earned selling seeds to finance his publishing operations.) Excuse me if I don't link there too.

9 comments:

Beldar said...

Seeds from the same pod?

"The right to be free, the right to own the fruits of your mind and effort now all made sense." — Marajuana entrepreneur Marc Emery.

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." — SCOTUS Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), and Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 538 (2003).

Like wow, man.

L. Ron Halfelven said...

Also the existence, meaning, and mystery of the tiny universe that's, like, in every cell of your body, man. I have got to get hold of some more of those funny-shaped cigarettes with the gold dollar signs on them.

James d. said...

Ah, the legendary Kennedy quote...

Regarding this Emery guy, if I owned a late-night pizza parlor, I'd so be pushing for marijuana's legalization. But I don't see what the NYT's stake in the matter is.

XWL said...

Like man, the old gray lady isn't no square. She's hip with the youngsters and their taking of the T. She knows that the mary jane don't harm noone and is far better than the devil rum. (enough of the faux 60s faux hipster speak)

It seems that Libertarianism is good in the NYT eyes only if it might upset social conservatives. When they do a piece praising gun law scofflaws playing in the desert with fully automatic rifles, then I will believe they have made an editorial shift towards dynamism over statism.

Rather I think this is just another example of liberal baby-boomer 60s nostalgia which has been amplified by their opposition to Vietnam/Iraq (there is a large subset of that group who cannot conceive of the current conflict without analogies to that past conflict)

Unfortunately, the NYT doesn't provide bios of their reporters, if they did embarrassing patterns might emerge.

Timothy K. Morris said...

"Mr. Emery describes himself as 'a responsible libertarian, not a hedonist,' who extols the virtues of capitalism, low taxes, small government and the right of citizens to bear arms."

Sounds like most prohibition era mobsters, to me.

MaxedOutMama said...

Yes, well, Mr. Emery is not quite the Randian type. He was campaigning for the BC Marijuana party this spring and got in quite a bit of trouble with the older people.

In his own words:
"Old people are the biggest welfare recipients of our medical system," he said. "We spend far too much of our taxpayers' money on a rapidly growing population of old people. We're spending lots of money keeping _ many many millions of old people _ alive when it would be much more honourable to let them die in a dignified way."

And the marijuana party wants marijuana legalized and taxed. This man isn't a libertertarian.

He has interesting ideas on education too:
Emery has ideas for education as well. He wants children aged five to 16 to have their own tutors for four hours a day, followed by two hours of supervised activity of their choosing.

"We should abolish this cold, heartless architecture that we have in this school system where we have built these cold, unloving buildings with unionized teachers that basically preach conformity and allow this bullying _ to go on and intimidate our young people," he said.

http://maxedoutmama.blogspot.com/2005/04/cannabis-culture.html

knoxgirl said...

IT was an epiphany," he said. "I had a sixth sense added to my five senses. The silence sounded different, smells were more nuanced and the brightness of the moon made it look bigger and more substantial in the sky."

I personally think marijuana should be legalized, but when people try to imbue it with deep, mystical powers...LOL. I've known a few recreational pot smokers who started smoking it regularly, and once that happened they basically became really, really boring... the couch potato stereotype, sitting in front of the tv and/or playing video games all day. Like Brad Pitt in "True Romance" but not funny.

Ann Althouse said...

Knoxgirl: Yes, people might have heightened perceptions, but their ability to say anything interesting about their perceptions is eroded.

Geekwad said...

The epiphany comes not from marijuana, but from suddenly seeing everything in a different light; from a different and previously unknown state. No one believes that sitting around stoned all day automatically leads to any sort of enlightenment. However, exploring yourself and your reality while you are not quite yourself can easily lead to new insights you may not have otherwise had. Some say these sorts of insights are just phantoms, not real insight. Sometimes, that is true. However, I would suggest that mundane emotions, preconceptions, stress, fatigue and trama (in other words, everyday life) can just as easily produce bogus insights. To dismiss an idea merely because it came from a stoned person is intellectually dishonest.