Marc-Boris St-Maurice

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Marc-Boris St-Maurice (b. 1969)[1] is an activist, politician and Canadian musician,[2] who has campaigned for many years for the legalization of cannabis, and to facilitate access to the drug for health reasons. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Marc-Boris St-Maurice
Leader of the Marijuana Party of Canada
In office
2000–2005
Preceded byParty founded*
Succeeded byBlair Longley
Leader of the Bloc Pot
In office
1998–2000
Preceded byParty founded*
Succeeded byHugô St-Onge
Personal details
Born1969
Québec
Political partyBloc Pot (1998-2000)

Marijuana Party of Canada (2000-2005)

Liberal Party of Canada (2005-?)

Music career[edit]

St-Maurice first became known in the early 1990s as bassist of punk band Grimskunk. It was then that Marc Saint-Maurice received the nickname "Boris".[3] He left the band in 1999 to focus on his activism in the marijuana legalization movement.

Political career[edit]

In 1998, he founded the Bloc Pot, a Quebec provincial political party whose main objective was the decriminalization and eventual legalization of marijuana.[3] In the Quebec general election of that year St-Maurice was the party's candidate in Mercier, placing fourth. In 2000, he created the federal equivalent of the Bloc Pot, the Marijuana Party, which ran candidates in federal elections. That year, St-Maurice was the party's candidate on two separate occasions, first in the byelection to replace resigning Okanagan—Coquihalla MP Jim Hart, then in Laurier—Sainte-Marie in the November general election. While ultimately unsuccessful, St-Maurice's candidacy in the November federal election was an unprecedented result for both St-Maurice and the Marijuana Party. He managed to best the candidates of three major parties (the New Democratic Party, the Progressive Conservatives, and the Canadian Alliance) a relatively rare feat for a minor party. In 2001, St-Maurice returned to Quebec politics to contest the byelection in Jonquière, prompted by the resignation of Lucien Bouchard. The next year he was a candiddate in the federal byelection in Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, placing last. His final foray into federal politics came in 2004, where he stood as a candidate in LaSalle—Émard, the riding of then Prime Minister Paul Martin.

In February 2005, Saint-Maurice left the Marijuana Party to join the Liberal Party of Canada, arguing that the chances of reaching the objectives pursued by both cannabis rights parties were better in the then ruling party.[4] The movement for marijuana had actually made some progress under Liberal rule in the early 2000s, with decriminalization bills introduced in 2003 and 2004 by the governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. When Stephen Harper's Conservatives won in the 2006 election, the new government did not continue with this legislation.[5]

In 2009, St-Maurice contested the 2009 Montreal municipal election, seeking the position of city councilor in Jeanne-Mance. He was ultimately unsucessfully, losing to Nimâ Machouf of Projet Montreal.

Compassion Club and activism[edit]

St-Maurice has experienced trouble with the law when he was a full-time volunteer at the Compassion Club, an organization that provides marijuana to seriously ill individuals with a medical prescription. The first Montreal Compassion Club, based on those in Toronto and British Columbia, was opened on Rachel Street, near a police station.

Following a police raid, St-Maurice and his colleague Alexander Neron were accused of possession and trafficking of narcotics. Their lawyers pleaded that the Canadian legislation left a legal loophole, allowing certain individuals to possess cannabis for medicinal purposes, but not supplying the product in question. Judge Gilles Cadieux halted the proceedings against the two men in December 2002.

St-Maurice is the founder and director of the Montreal Compassion Centre, a medical marijuana facility in downtown Montreal.[6][7] Prior to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the centre was raided and shut down in 2011.[8]

Electoral record[edit]

2009 Montreal Municipal Election: Jeanne-Mance[edit]

Party City Council candidate Vote %
  Projet Montréal Nimâ Machouf 3,271 39.90
  Vision Montréal Nathalie Rochefort 2,404 29.32
  Union Montréal Michel Prescott 1,806 22.03
  Independent Marc-Boris St-Maurice 548 6.68
  Parti Montréal Ville-Marie Marc-André Bahl 170 2.07
2004 Canadian federal election: LaSalle—Émard
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Paul Martin 25,806 56.6 -9.2 $58,357
Bloc Québécois Thierry Larrivée 14,001 30.7 +6.5 $6,381
Conservative Nicole Roy-Arcelin 2,271 5.0 -1.0 $5,075
New Democratic Rebecca Blaikie 1,995 4.4 +2.7 $2,226
Green Douglas Jack 1,000 2.2 $410
Marijuana Marc-Boris St-Maurice 349 0.8 -0.8
Marxist–Leninist Jean-Paul Bédard 210 0.5
Total 45,632 100.0 $78,239
Canadian federal by-election, May 13, 2002: Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Retirement of Alfonso Gagliano
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Massimo Pacetti 14,076 83.5 +6.9
Bloc Québécois Umberto Di Genova 1,495 8.9 -5.6
Progressive Conservative Antonio Cordeiro 634 3.8 +1.5
New Democratic Normand Caplette 447 2.7 +1.5
Marijuana Marc-Boris St-Maurice 197 1.2 -0.2
Total valid votes 16,849 100.0
Liberal hold Swing
Quebec provincial by-election, 2001: Jonquière
Resignation of Lucien Bouchard
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Françoise Gauthier 13,077 46.54 +27.19
Parti Québécois Nicole Racine 8,830 31.42 -29.06
Action démocratique Michèle Boulianne 5,391 19.18 +14.20
RAP Gilbert Talbot 480 1.71 -13.13
Bloc Pot Marc-Boris St-Maurice 323 1.15
Total valid votes 28,101 99.04 -0.08
Total rejected ballots 273 0.96 +0.08
Turnout 28,374 63.45 -13.46
Eligible voters 44,716
Liberal gain Swing
2000 Canadian federal election: Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Bloc Québécois Gilles Duceppe 23,473 52.8 −1.9
Liberal Jean Philippe Côté 11,451 25.7 +2.8
Green Dylan Perceval-Maxwell 2,169 4.9 +2.5
Marijuana Marc-Boris St-Maurice 2,156 4.8
New Democratic Richard Chartier 2,121 4.8 +0.3
Progressive Conservative Jean François Tessier 1,879 4.2 −7.7
Alliance Stéphane Prud'homme 960 2.2
Marxist–Leninist Ginette Boutet 269 0.6 −0.1
Total valid votes 44,478 100.0
Bloc Québécois hold Swing
Canadian federal by-election, September 11, 2000: Okanagan—Coquihalla
Resignation of Jim Hart
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Alliance Stockwell Day 19,417 70.30 +17.24
New Democratic Ken Ellis 3,470 12.56 +0.81
Green Joan Russow 2,115 7.66 +5.49
Canadian Action Jack William Peach 1,159 4.20
Independent Jim Strauss 689 2.49
Independent Marc-Boris St-Maurice 438 1.59
Independent Dennis Earl Baker 223 0.81
Independent Rad Gajic 108 0.39
Total valid votes 27,619 100.0  
Alliance hold Swing +8.22
1998 Quebec general election: Mercier
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Parti Québécois Robert Perreault 17,552 55.38 −1.10
Liberal Elizabeth da Silva 9,005 28.42 −2.13
Action démocratique Paul Benevides 2,818 8.89 +3.47
Bloc Pot Marc-Boris St-Maurice 985 3.11
Socialist Democracy Guylaine Sirard 873 2.75 +0.12
Independent Ann Farrell 158 0.50
Natural Law Pierre Bergeron 154 0.49 −0.34
Marxist–Leninist Normand Chouinard 79 0.25 −0.08
Communist Pierre Smith 67 0.21 −0.21
Total valid votes 31,691 98.47 +1.03
Total rejected ballots 493 1.53 -1.03
Turnout 32,184 75.28 -5.05
Eligible voters 42,755
Parti Québécois hold Swing +0.52
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beausoleil, Jean-Marc (2017). "Enfant de cœur". Monsieur Boris et le cannabis : le long road-trip vers la légalisation (in French). QuébecAmérique. ISBN 978-2-7644-3338-6. OCLC 981767718.
  2. ^ Marc-Boris St-Maurice Bio
  3. ^ a b Curtis, Christopher (October 15, 2016). "Medicinal marijuana in Montreal: Just ask for Boris". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Wherry, Aaron (September 4, 2013). "Q&A: Marc-Boris St-Maurice on marijuana and Justin Trudeau - Macleans.ca". Maclean's. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  5. ^ The Canadian Press (June 3, 2010). "Quebec police raid pot clubs, plan 25 arrests". The Toronto Star. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  6. ^ LeClair, Anne (January 10, 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis Culture plans to reopen in Montreal with a medical twist". Global News. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  7. ^ Riga, Andy (November 16, 2017). "Quebec cannabis: Activists, entrepreneur disappointed with marijuana legislation". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  8. ^ Annable, Kristin (February 23, 2012). "Health Canada helps prosecute marijuana growers, then asks them for advice | National Post". National post. Retrieved June 12, 2020.