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article image'Prince of Pot' apologizes to Trudeau for smoking allegations

By Alex Guibord     Aug 24, 2013 in Politics
Jailed pro-pot activist Marc Emery today admitted to lying about smoking pot with Justin Trudeau several times. But now Emery insists it only happened once — a claim Trudeau rejects as "flat out lying."
"I only met Marc Emery once in my life — so that's a lot of smoking with him that I apparently did," Trudeau said Friday in Trois-Rivieres, Que.
The Liberal leader disclosed on Thursday that he has smoked marijuana "five or six times" in his life, including three years ago at a dinner party since becoming an MP for the Montreal riding of Papineau.
Trudeau denies using marijuana with the convicted felon, who is serving a five-year prison sentence at Yazoo City federal prison in Mississippi after being charged in the U.S. for commercially distributing cannabis seeds.
Upon contact for comment, Emery released a statement to Sun Media claiming he did get high once with Trudeau in August 2003 at a Vancouver restaurant, but the marijuana martyr says he was personally "doing most of the smoking."
“I am indeed recorded telling a falsehood that until now, I was unaware was out there. I’m totally embarrassed about it," Emery wrote to the news agency. "I’m really saddened that I have caused (Trudeau) some grief by this clear misrepresentation.”
Trudeau's admission to "very rare" marijuana use in a candid interview with the Huffington Post also revealed his youngest brother, Michel, was charged with cannabis possession shortly before his death in 1998 by avalanche.
The exposé contradicts the pot pioneer's latest version of "what really happened," including a recorded speech from July 2009 during which Emery berated Trudeau and alleged they have used marijuana together "four or five" times.
The video clip from a public appearance at a Toronto vapour lounge shows Emery calling the then-rookie Liberal MP a "hypocrite" for voting for the Harper government's Bill C-15. The legislation would have imposed mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences including cannabis possession.
C-15 did not pass despite Liberal and Conservative support due to prorogation, but similar legislation became law in 2012 as part of the Bill C-10 omnibus crime bill.
Since Liberals elected Justin Trudeau to lead the federal party, he came out last July publicly advocating to end marijuana prohibition and pursue full legalization with regulation and taxation schemes.
A new Liberal petition argues the status quo on cannabis is costly and unsafe. Trudeau says the initiative will lead to suppressing the black market and replacing it with a highly regulated trade. After historic losses from the 2011 federal election, the Liberal party took this position when 77 per cent of eligible delegates and top brass voted in favour at their 2012 biennial convention.
Trudeau also denied he strategically flip-flopped to potentially win votes, explaining his opinion of marijuana laws "evolved" over the years from pro-decriminalization to supporting legalization to keep pot away from children. He also said tax collected from selling cannabis legally will boost government revenues.
Trudeau's actions 'speak for themselves'
Prime Minister Stephen Harper reacted to Trudeau’s admission to using the illegal drug by saying his actions “speak for themselves." Harper confirmed he never tried marijuana, insisting pain caused by his asthma prevents him from smoking anything.
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair admitted to smoking pot before, but supposedly not since he first got elected.
The revelations are igniting a national conversation about marijuana prohibition in Canada, especially since the country's police chiefs came out this week lobbying for fines to replace criminal charges for marijuana possession.
In fact, the illicit drug use aroused across-the-board reactions on social media since Thursday, including jokes about Trudeau's "un-Canadian" aversion to coffee and regrets about his judgment.
What's more, in 2007 Trudeau's mother, Margaret, openly divulged how quitting cannabis made a significant impact on her public recovery from bipolar disorder.
Read more online reaction via Storify.
More about Marc emery, justin trudeau weed, justin trudeau pot, Cannabis, Marijuana
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