TORONTO — Canada's self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot" and his wife say they shouldn't be facing criminal charges when the federal government has promised to make marijuana legal next year.
Marc and Jodie Emery railed against what they described as an ongoing police crackdown on marijuana users after making a brief appearance in court on drug-related charges.
Speaking outside court, Jodie Emery said people like them, who have harmed no one, should not face prison time.
The couple, which owns the Cannabis Culture brand, was arrested last month in Toronto after police raided seven Cannabis Culture locations along with two homes in Toronto, one in Stoney Creek, Ont., and one in Vancouver.
They were granted bail with several conditions, including a prohibition on possessing or consuming marijuana and other drugs except with prescription, a ban on attending any Cannabis Culture location or other dispensary, as well as facilitating or participating in the operation of any Cannabis Culture location.
At Friday's hearing, prosecutors filed updated charges against the Emerys.
Marc Emery is now facing 22 counts — up from 15 — including drug trafficking, drug possession and possession of the proceeds of crime, while Jodie Emery is facing 10 similar counts — up from five.
"These drug laws and these marijuana laws are sending peaceful, non-violent people like ourselves into cells with handcuffs," Jodie Emery said after the hearing.
"That is no way to treat a Canadian in 2017 for something that's going to be legalized next year," in large part due to pressure from pot activists," she said.
Meanwhile, Marc Emery said he isn't scared to end up behind bars, noting he has previously been arrested 30 times for marijuana offences and served in 36 different prisons and jails.
"We think we're going to be triumphant and we're going to come out of this court case with the movement and our reputation intact."
Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
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