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Canadian Pot Activists Plead Guilty To Marijuana Charges

Marc and Jodie Emery both pleaded guilty to several drug trafficking charges during their Monday court hearing.

Tim Kohut

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Canadian Pot Activists Plead Guilty To Marijuana Charges

Canada’s renowned pot power couple, Marc and Jodie Emery, have officially pleaded guilty to a variety of drug-related charges in a Toronto court on Monday morning.

Royal Reefer: Canadian Pot Activists Plead Guilty To Marijuana Charges

Marc Emery, who considers himself the “Prince of Pot,” pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for purpose of trafficking, trafficking marijuana and possession of proceeds of crime more than $5,000.

His wife, Jodie, pleaded guilty to two out of the same three charges as her spouse—possession of marijuana for purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000.

The couple was arrested back in March at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, en route to a cannabis festival in Europe. While in custody, Canadian officers raided several pot shops owned by the activists, where they found documents proving the couple had transitioned their business into a franchise model of dispensaries.They were eventually released on $30,000 bail.

The Emerys own the Cannabis Culture brand, which originated as a print magazine geared toward the cannabis subculture. The brand was used by a chain of 19 marijuana dispensaries throughout British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, however, that number has since dwindled to just eight following the couple’s legal woes.

Along with the couple, three other Cannabis Culture employees were arrested back in March: 37-year-old Christopher Goodwin,  31-year-old Erin Goodwin, both of Toronto, and 29-year-old Britney Guerra of Stoney Creek, Ontario. All pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for purpose of trafficking, with Christopher Goodwin and Guerra also pleading guilty to possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000

Following the duo’s initial court date back in April, Jodie Emery panned the series of arrests, citing Canada’s upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis as the primary reason for her dismay. Barring any potential setbacks, Canada will legalize the plant for recreational purposes on July 1.

“These marijuana laws are sending peaceful people like ourselves into cells in handcuffs,” Jodie Emery told Canadian reporters after leaving the court. “That’s no way to treat a Canadian in 2017 for something that’s going to be legalized next year.”

Unfortunately for Marc Emery, this isn’t the first time he’s been at the forefront of cannabis-related legal trouble. Back in 2014, Emery was arrested for selling pot seeds in the United States. He spent some time in an American prison, before his ultimate release.

In this instance, Marc and Jodie Emery were discovered to have been operating illegal dispensaries throughout the Toronto area, while also receiving royalties for the use of their franchise name, “Cannabis Culture.”

According to Crown attorney Kiran Gill, the couple would receive 6 to 10 percent royalties on total sales of franchisees. While this would certainly not be deemed a crime when cannabis is ultimately permitted countrywide in July (albeit, under the proper licensing), the operation is currently considered illegal.

“Their marijuana is obtained illicitly,” Gill noted.

The couple is expected to be sentenced this week.

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