FILE - In this May 10, 2010 file photo, Marc Emery, the self-described “Prince of Pot” speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia Monday, prior to turning himself in to be extradited to the United States as his wife Jodie, left, looks on. Emery and his wife have been arrested in Toronto on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 and police are raiding several of his marijuana dispensaries, his lawyer said. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward, File)

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

A Toronto journalist is speaking out against “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, alleging he was sexually inappropriate with her and other teenage girls in the early 2000s while he was working at Cannabis Culture.

In a series of tweets, which began on Jan. 13, Deidre Olsen called the entire history of the Cannabis Culture dispensary and lounge in Vancouver an old boys’ club “where middle-aged men worked alongside vulnerable teenage girls and young women and watched as Marc Emery groomed, harassed, assaulted and exploited them.”

Emery, known widely for his advocacy to legalize marijuana, was once the owner of Cannabis Culture before transferring ownership to his former wife, Jodie Emery, in 2009.

“He’d tell long stories of his sexual exploits in other countries where the laws are more relaxed for older men to engage in sexual activities with underage girls,” Olsen, 27, said.

Olsen met Emery at the BCMP Vapour Lounge in Vancouver in 2008. Emery tried to get her to work there, but she said she chose not to because of how Emery behaved. She tweeted screenshots of private Facebook messages between her and Emery, where he appears to describe his sex life and say explicit things about his genitalia.

Olsen said she learned other teenagers and women who had worked for or hung around Emery had similar experiences, talking about drug parties, sexual harassment and assault.

Emery has denied all allegations that he had sex with anyone under the age of 18 and that he acted inappropriately toward Olsen.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Emery said: “I do talk about sex and in the old days 15 years ago I used to write about sex, but I have never ever had sex with anyone under 19.”

In the 1,800-word post, he said he has smoked marijuana with lots of teenagers, but the idea that he’s grooming young women is “not true.”

“I regret Deidre finds the experience now traumatizing,” he said. “To you Deidre, I’m sorry I went out of bounds and the experience has become unpleasant.”

Emery acknowledged he is “a touchy guy probably,” but believes it was always “modest non-sexual touching,” such as back rubs. He also apologized to his former wife, saying that the accusations have hurt her and for that he feels “very, very low inside” and is “so sorry.”

“It’s possible other lurid stories may come to light of my behaviour,” he wrote. “But over a 60-year life, there’s many mistakes in there. And so, so many good things I’ve done that can get forgotten amidst social media indignation.”

On Friday, Emery released a second statement, stating that the accusations “are getting outrageous.”

In 2005, Emery was arrested by police in Nova Scotia, for extradition to the U.S. for selling seeds. He was extradited in 2010 and was in prison until 2014.

“In all that time from 2005 to 2009, no woman or man lodged any formal or informal complaint about me with anyone,” he said.

It is not clear whether any of these allegations have been reported to police. Black Press Media has reached out to Olsen for further comment.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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