Imprisoned marijuana activist Marc Emery recently got a visit from a member of British Columbia's opposition caucus. In an exclusive interview with the Public Eye, New Democrat Guy Gentner confirmed he spent four hours with Mr. Emery at the D. Ray James Correctional Facility in Georgia on January 2. "We had a lot to talk about and it was interesting to go there and talk to Marc," he said.
Mr. Gentner, MLA for Delta North and the opposition's intergovernmental relations critic, said he went because the facility was a two-hour drive from where he was staying "with friends and family." He also wanted to check-in on the wellbeing of Mr. Emery, a British Columbia resident, whom the legislator described as being "a political prisoner, in my estimation," in the American private prison system.
"What he believes, and what's apparent, is that he's not treated the same as if he was an American," Mr. Genter explained.
The visit was part of a larger exploration of private prisons in the United States, which Mr. Gentner was undertaking, as well as being an opportunity to discuss marijuana laws. But that trip doesn't mean the Delta North MLA plans to back pro-marijuana candidate Dana Larsen in the New Democrat leadership race.
"I don't know Dana Larsen. I don't know anything about him. I'm not here to support a one issue candidate," Mr. Genter said, adding, "I do understand there is a need for us to look at, I would say, regulating marijuana. I think it's a necessity. We have to look at that. It's an issue that's not going to go away. I don't think prohibition's working."
However, "before I endorse any leadership candidate, I'd like to see who's all running in the field," he stated.