Ex-presidiário, ativista canadense prepara-se para erguer ‘império da maconha’

Clipadão

hempadao 9 julho, 2016

Fonte: Globo.com .:.

Apinhada na frente de uma discreta loja de Toronto, a multidão se aglomera em torno da porta. Em alguns minutos, todos voltam-se para um senhor de 58 anos, com visual de executivo aposentado, que desponta na entrada.

Sua aparição é acompanhada de flashes e pedidos de autógrafos. Logo em seguida, uma emissora de TV inicia uma transmissão do local. A cena interrompe o cotidiano pacato da área, e se repete toda vez que empresário Marc Emery vai ao local. Isso porque Emery é o maior ativista pró-legalização da maconha do Canadá e a loja é, na verdade, um de seus pontos de venda da planta.

Conhecido no país como “Príncipe da Maconha”, Emery ganhou notoriedade ao longo de três décadas de luta pela legalização da erva. Por conta de seu ativismo, esteve preso várias vezes ─ 34, diz ─ em vários pontos da América do Norte e está proibido de entrar nos Estados Unidos.

Agora, ele quer apagar o passado conturbado e surfar no relaxamento das leis canadenses. A legalização da produção, comércio e consumo é uma promessa do atual premiê, Justin Trudeau, prevista para ocorrer em menos de um ano.

Com duas lojas já abertas em Vancouver, onde vive, e outras duas em Toronto, Emery prepara-se para criar uma rede de comércio espalhada por todo o país. Também iniciou uma série de viagens internacionais, numa cruzada pela regulamentação em países da Europa e da América do Sul.

“Vamos abrir uma loja a cada dois meses a partir de agora, para que todos possam comprar maconha legalmente. O Canadá passa por mudanças intensas, e deve influenciar outros países a fazerem o mesmo”, diz à BBC Brasil.

Os dias de megafone em punho e protestos barulhentos, no entanto, prosseguem. “Só vou descansar quando os Estados Unidos legalizarem a maconha”, avisa.  “Eles são o país com maior influência global, cruciais para acabar com a guerra à erva”.

Da fama à prisão

Emery iniciou sua luta pela descriminalização da cannabis nos anos 80. Vendia livros e revistas sobre os supostos benefícios do consumo. Naquele tempo, qualquer publicação relacionada à maconha era censurada no Canadá. Em seguida, criou um periódico sobre o assunto, a revista Cultura Cannabis.

Aos poucos foi ficando famoso. Ele diz ter “dividido baseados com personalidades de todo o tipo, incluindo o atual premiê canadense, Justin Trudeau”.

O auge da popularidade veio nos anos 90 e 2000, quando passou a comercializar também sementes da planta através dos correios.

A distribuição do insumo não se restringiu ao Canadá, e alcançou todos os Estados americanos. Ele diz ter conseguido lucro de cerca de U$ 5 milhões com a empreitada.

Mas o comércio era ilegal nos EUA, e Marc foi indiciado, em 2005, por tráfico internacional de drogas e lavagem de dinheiro.

Foi processado e acusado de crimes que poderiam acarretar em até 40 anos de cadeia. Após longa batalha judicial, conseguiu um acordo que reduziu sua pena para quatro anos.

“Perdi todo o dinheiro em advogados e campanhas para mudar a legislação”, conta. “E a acusação de tráfico é absurda. Sempre paguei imposto por tudo que vendi. Jamais soneguei ou atuei de forma criminosa. Só em taxas foram US$ 600 mil recolhidos pelo governo do Canadá”, diz à BBC Brasil.

Quando foi extraditado e preso nos Estados Unidos, em 2009, protestos contra seu encarceramento se espalharam por mais de 100 cidades do planeta, incluindo Londres, Paris e Nova York. “Usei meu período na cadeia para prestar assessoria jurídica a outros detentos. E mantive um blog contando minha rotina”, conta.

Livre da prisão há dois anos, Marc Emery vive dias mais tranquilos. Apesar de ainda não ser legal no Canadá, o consumo de maconha já não sofre a repressão de outrora. O comércio é permitido para fins médicos e os dispensários, como são chamados os estabelecimentos que disponibilizam a erva, proliferam nas vias mais movimentadas das grandes cidades.

Algumas lojas, incluindo as dele, aproveitam o relaxamento nas leis e já vendem o produto a qualquer maior de idade. De vez em quando, a negociação ainda é interrompida por batidas policiais e interdições. Mas os dispensários voltam a funcionar em poucas horas. E, quando uma loja é fechada, Emery faz questão de ir pessoalmente ao local para reabri-la.

“Há um temor de que o comércio, ao ser regularizado, seja feito apenas por grandes corporações. Isso excluiria o pequeno e médio comerciante, que sempre lutou para que a maconha saísse da clandestinidade. Não vamos permitir que isso aconteça”, afirma.

Após a regulamentação da produção, venda e consumo da maconha no Uruguai, implementada pelo ex-presidente José Mujica, Emery acredita a América do Sul também vai sofrer mudanças profundas na forma como trata a questão. Mas faz uma ressalva.

“O debate está muito atrasado na América Latina. E mesmo em países da Europa, como a Itália. No Brasil, a repressão resulta numa maconha muito ruim, trazida de forma clandestina do Paraguai. Também aumenta a corrupção e alimenta a violência do tráfico. Por seu tamanho e influência, é importante que o país leve a questão a sério e mude sua legislação extremamente retrógrada. O país é fundamental para atacar o crime organizado e a violência que assolam todo o continente sul-americano”, diz.



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