Canada’s most outspoken pot activist is running for office.

Marc Emery, whose crusade for legalized cannabis has put him behind bars more than three dozen times, will be seeking the People’s Party of Canada nomination in the Ontario riding of London––Fanshawe, True North has learned.

Emery has a long history of candidacies at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, but hasn’t been on a ballot since his 2008 run for mayor of Vancouver. In the coming weeks, he’ll be moving to his hometown of London, Ont, where he intends to vie for the PPC nomination while working in his brother’s soon-to-be-opened Emery Brothers cannabis store.

Though he’s known for his marijuana advocacy, Emery says he’s not a political one-trick pony.

“I’ve never just cared about cannabis,” he said on The Andrew Lawton Show. “I mean, I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in October 1979 – I think Oct. 17 I started it, and that’s a red letter day in my life because it changed everything. Really, what I’m concerned about is what I call the COVID dictatorship we’re under at all levels of government, where there’s no opposition – except for wonderful Randy Hillier – but essentially no opposition to the complete state control of our entire way of life.”

Business shutdowns and other infringements of liberty over the past year have helped drive Emery back into politics.

“We’ve lost every constitutional guarantee in the last year of assembly, of speech. Censorship is rampant. We can’t go visit family. We can’t even breathe legally, really, without wearing a mask,” Emery told Lawton.

Emery, a self-professed libertarian, endorsed Maxime Bernier’s run for the leadership of the Conservatives in 2017, then backed the Bernier-led People’s party in the 2019 federal election.

Despite the PPC not winning any seats in 2019, Emery said the party stands out in the current political climate, which he thinks voters will appreciate.

“The bottom line is, I think the People’s party will become much more popular because they’re a clear alternative to the Conservatives, Liberals, Greens, NDP,” Emery said. “Those four parties…have endorsed the same totalitarian authoritarian measures. They’ve all been part of the dictatorship.”

PPC spokesperson Martin Masse said Emery is a welcome addition to the field, but will have to vie for the nomination like any other prospective candidate.

“Marc has been a long-time supporter of Maxime from the time he ran for the CPC leadership. He supports our policies. He is welcome in the race,” Masse told True North. “This being said, the candidate selection process has not begun yet. We don’t know if last year’s candidate, Bela Kosoian, will decide to run again, or if there will be other people who will want to run in this riding. Like all other candidates, Marc will have to go through the vetting and nomination process.”

Emery concedes his criminal record won’t go unnoticed.

“I’ve got 40 appearances in prisons and jails,” he said. “I’ve been jailed for cannabis in every province. I did time in six states in the United States…I was arrested in the Yukon but that was dropped, so I can’t say I’ve been put in jail overnight there, but certainly every other province and multiple times in some.”

London––Fanshawe is currently held by NDP member of parliament Lindsay Mathyssen.

Emery’s interview on The Andrew Lawton Show airs Tuesday on True North.


  • Andrew Lawton

    A Canadian broadcaster and columnist, Andrew serves as a journalism fellow at True North and host of The Andrew Lawton Show.