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Activist Jodie Emery says Waterloo Region should be pot-friendly, instead of not-friendly

570 News - Erin Anderson

Two of Canada’s biggest pot activists made a stop in Kitchener on Friday.

Political Activist Jodie Emery and Hot Box Cafe Owner Abi Roach took questions at UC Vape in downtown Kitchener as part of an education event hosted by the local group Alternative Cannabis Consumption Awareness.

Emery sat down with 570 NEWS to discuss legalization, and growing cannabis business opportunities.

She says as Waterloo Region becomes a front-runner for tech and entrepreneurship, we should also be looking at the soon-to-be booming marijuana industry.

“A lot of communities are going to be facing the consumption of cannabis being legalized, so we need to have places where people are able to go and consume it so those who don’t want to be around it don’t have to be exposed, and those that do want to use it have a place to go,” said Emery. “It would be very smart for different jurisdictions, including those in Waterloo Region, to decide that they will be pot-friendly, instead of not-friendly, and with that will come the economic benefits of jobs and so on.”

Emery says she believes marijuana businesses could be a big boost to our local economy.

“If the government fails to allow this industry to grow properly, we’re not going to see all the benefits that it can offer. We will see a continued wasting of tax dollars going after people for cannabis businesses, rather than allowing them to transition into legality, and offer jobs and tax revenue and all of the other benefits that these businesses bring.”

Emery adds that although the legalization of pot is imminent, marijuana activists still have a lot of work to do in the mean time.

“It has taken decades of activism to change the laws. I remember a few years ago hearing that it will be legal, and thinking my activism work would be done. But now, we’re down to the devil in the details, which means bylaws, regulations, and all sorts of new hurdles,” said Emery. “So I’m really glad that ACCA group asked me to come out tonight and speak about these issues, because knowledge is power and as more people hear about the benefits of marijuana, the more we can keep this conversation going.”

You can hear Emery’s full interview below.