Marc Emery, Canada’s most prominent pro-marijuana activist, is facing the possibility of life imprisonment in the United States for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet to U.S. customers.
Emery is also the head of the BC Marijuana party and was arrested in Canada, his home country, on charges stemming from the US.
This is extremely disturbing, no matter what one thinks of decriminalization of pot.. Canada is moving to decriminalize small possession of pot; barely charges anyone for growing or selling; it was legal for about 8 months last year in ON because of the Supreme Court decision; and really is not a big fucking deal. So what the hell is the Canadian gov’t doing about to extradite a citizen of this country to the US to stand charges on laws that do not apply in our home country?
Not good. Not what a “just society” is at all. Our laws apply here and we should not be active participants in this. Sorry, wrong, wrong, wrong.
This sends a strong message to the marijuana activists from WA & CA who have ’emigrated’ to Canada to avoid life imprisonment in the States… they too will have to go home.
Completely unacceptable. That is not my Canada.
To all you Canucks out there (and you Yanks, this ultimately affects you too) — write Paul and give him hell… (his ego is so out of hand at this point, just tell him Bono would not approve and he’ll get right on it…)
email@example.com – The Right Honorable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada.
also drop a CC to:
The Honourable Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice & Attorney General) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, you may want to CC Jack Layton & Gilles Duceppe, leaders of the opposition NDP & Bloc Quebecois to ensure this issue is brought up on the floor of the Commons during Question Period.
Jack Layton – email@example.com
Giles Duceppe – firstname.lastname@example.org
More about the story…
In a stunning development, RCMP officers arrested the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot” in Halifax yesterday after a U.S. federal grand jury indicted him on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
The charges stem from Mr. Emery’s lucrative sale of marijuana seeds, an activity he has carried on from his Vancouver base with minimal legal penalty for 10 years.
U.S. drug-enforcement officials said they will seek Mr. Emery’s extradition from Canada to stand trial in Seattle, where conviction on either of the marijuana charges carries a minimum prison term of 10 years to a maximum of life.
Special Agent Rodney Benson of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said Mr. Emery, 47, has distributed millions of cannabis seeds to U.S. customers over the years, earning as much as $3-million annually.
“I am pleased to announce that he is out of business as of today,” Mr. Benson told a Seattle news conference. “His overblown arrogance and abuse of the rule of law will no longer be on display. Like other drugs, marijuana harms the innocents.”
The arrest of Mr. Emery, also head of the B.C. Marijuana Party, was accompanied by a simultaneous Vancouver Police raid of party headquarters on the edge of the city’s drug-ravaged Downtown Eastside.
Police were acting on a search warrant signed by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court, who agreed there were reasonable grounds to believe that the three conspiracy charges “over which the United States of America has jurisdiction have been committed.”
“I was completely shocked,” said well-known pot activist David Malmo-Levine, who took his fight against Canada’s marijuana laws to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“It’s appalling for the U.S. to come in here and try to police our country. To arrest Canadians to face their penalties and their laws is completely wrong,” he said, standing in front of an upside down U.S. flag with the words “DEA Go Away” on it.
Two other marijuana activists were also arrested in Vancouver on the same charges as Mr. Emery, at the request of U.S. authorities yesterday — Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, 34, and Gregory Williams, 50.
The extradition hearing is certain to highlight a clash between the Draconian drug laws of the United States and Canada’s more benign approach to marijuana use.
Only last week, the B.C. Court of Appeal rejected a two-year jail term for a convicted marijuana grower as excessive, while Ottawa is moving to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot.
Assistant U.S. attorney Jeff Sullivan said there is no chance of marijuana being legalized in the United States. “Marijuana is not a benign drug. There are more kids in treatment for addiction to marijuana than for all other illegal drugs combined,” Mr. Sullivan claimed.
U.S. officials praised the “outstanding co-operation” of Canadian law-enforcement agencies in their 18-month investigation of Mr. Emery’s seed business, 75 per cent of which they said was aimed at Americans.