Jodie Emery official letter

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April 24, 2016
To: The Honourable Member of Parliament Bill Blair
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Honourable Member of Parliament Bill Blair,
I am writing to request my official participation in the Liberal Government’s marijuana
legalization task force. My qualifications include the following:

- In 2010, I campaigned in California for the first-ever United States marijuana legalization vote,
Proposition 19
- In 2011, at the invitation of Representative Mary-Lou Dickerson of Washington State, I
testified to the House Ways and Means Committee in favour of marijuana legalization Bill 1550
as one of nine speakers, including former United States District Attorney John McKay and
former State Senator George Rohrbacher
- In 2012, I was an official endorser and campaign member for the successful Washington State
Initiative 502 marijuana legalization campaign
- In 2012, I spoke at a nationally-broadcast “Stop The Violence” marijuana legalization news
conference alongside former B.C. Attorney General Geoffrey Plant, former U.S. District
Attorney John McKay, and Dr. Evan Wood of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and
Urban Health Research Initiative
- In February 2016, I spoke to Honourable Senators and panel members, including the Hon. Bill
Blair, at the Liberal Senate Forum legalization conference
- I have spent twelve years researching and writing about cannabis and legalization, as a
magazine editor, media spokesperson and five-time political candidate
- I have personally experienced the harms of marijuana prohibition enforcement by experiencing
the criminal justice system when I lost my husband to U.S. prison for a five-year sentence (for
marijuana seed offences and his political advocacy)
- I have owned and operated four successful tax-paying marijuana-related media, retail and
service industry businesses since 2009
- I have spoken at legalization conferences and events in provinces and territories across Canada,
and in Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Spain, Ireland,

England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Chile; I have upcoming
appearances in Poland, Alaska and Mexico
- I have spoken about marijuana legalization at events alongside the Hon. Irwin Cotler, U.S.
Senator Mike Gravel, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn,
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, and Paul Pelosi, Jr., son of Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Speaker of the
House of Representatives

Many Canadians feel very strongly that a truly informed and balanced marijuana legalization
task force must include at least one person who has devoted their career and volunteer efforts to
that cause. It would be negligent for a government to draft legislation about gay marriage,
immigration, manufacturing, farming, or health care without consulting representatives and
experts in those fields.
The Liberal Government’s legalization task force will be perceived as unequal and biased if it
seeks input only from the traditional long-time opponents of legalization, i.e. addiction, mental
health and police representatives. Other stakeholders must be consulted, such as professionals
from the marijuana business community; lawyers who have won precedent-setting federal court
cases and Supreme Court challenges; and peaceful Canadian citizens who have been penalized
by the criminal justice system.
In February of this year, you introduced yourself to me at the Liberal Senate marijuana
legalization forum in Ottawa and said you would like to speak with me further about this
important subject. It would be an honour to represent our country’s marijuana legalization
advocates and the millions of Canadian cannabis consumers who support inclusive, balanced,
evidence-based legalization policy.
I am hereby formally requesting to have an official role in the Liberal Government's marijuana
legalization task force, so I may share my expertise and offer suggestions about the best way to
respect Canadians’ rights while protecting them from harm.

Sincerely yours,
Jodie Joanna Emery

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