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Canada: "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery Jailed, Ordered Extradited to US

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #632)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson Monday ordered that his country's most famous marijuana legalization advocate be extradited to the US to serve a five-year federal prison sentence. Erstwhile pot seed entrepreneur and Cannabis Culture magazine publisher Marc Emery turned himself in to authorities and is now in custody awaiting imminent extradition to the US.

Marc and Jodie Emery (courtesy Cannabis Culture)
Emery and two employees, Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams, were arrested in Vancouver in 2005 by Canadian police acting at the behest of US authorities, who had indicted the trio in Seattle for selling pot seeds over the Internet to customers in the US. After Rainey and Williams were offered plea bargains that allowed them to stay in Canada, Emery himself pleaded guilty to one count of marijuana distribution in exchange for a five-year sentence. He had faced up to life in prison for his pot seed sales.

Prior to his arrest in 2005, Emery was becoming an increasingly irritating burr under the saddle of prohibitionists on both sides of the border. He poured much of his pot seed profits into pro-pot political formations, both in Canada and across the border, agitating relentlessly for legalization as he vowed to "overgrow the government" and confronting then US drug czar John Walters when he visited Vancouver.

After Emery's arrest, then DEA administrator Karen Tandy issued a press release calling the bust a "significant blow to the US and Canadian marijuana trade, and to the marijuana legalization movement" and crowed about taking down Emery and his "propagandistic magazine."

But that was five years ago. Since then, Emery has continued to agitate for legalization, Cannabis Culture has continued to publish (albeit only online now), and he has used his own predicament as yet another tool toward his broader goal. He generated thousands of letters and phone calls to Ottawa in his support, as well as appeals from members of Parliament from all major parties.

Even on the steps of the British Columbia Supreme Court, where he turned himself over Monday morning, Emery was still talking. "I think the best thing that could happen to our movement is that the minister decides, foolishly, to extradite me. Canadians will be very, very angry and punish this government," he told reporters.

"If I'm extradited, I've told my supporters that every Conservative member of Parliament is to be hounded endlessly and unmercifully until they are defeated in the next or following elections," he said. "It's to be a life project for them as long as I am incarcerated in the United States or Canada."

Emery is seeking to serve his time in Canada, one of attorneys, Kirk Tousaw, told The Canadian Press. "The United States has already agreed to support Mr. Emery's treaty transfer back to Canada to serve his sentence here," Tousaw said. "We certainly would anticipate the minister of public safety would agree."

Emery, who has been arrested repeatedly for his marijuana activism, said he had no regrets. "I think of myself as a great Canadian -- I've worked my whole life for individual freedom in this country, I've never asked for anything in return," Emery told reporters. "And now I will be possibly handed over to the United States for a five-year sentence for the so-called crime of selling seeds from my desk to consenting adults all over the world and the United States. I'm proud of what I've done, and I have no regrets."

On Tuesday, Vancouver New Democratic Party MP Libby Davies called on Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to "stop the extradition" of Emery by allowing him to serve his sentence in Canada. American officials were agreeable to that approach, she said, but "your government has refused to cooperate." Davies pointedly added that Emery was being extradited to serve time in the US "for actions that are not worthy of prosecution under Canadian laws."

Read the latest update on the Cannabis Culture web site for more info on the continuing campaign to free Marc Emery.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Lone Wolf 54 (not verified)

The fascists in D.C. and Canada have sold the global community out again. All of us should join together to not only free Marc Emery, but to end this fascist US drug war once and for all. Just like "Jesus died on the cross for our sins", Emery is stepping up to unite us.

None of us want poisons like meth and other manmade toxins on the streets, but marijuana is a gift of the Earth that has benefitted mankind for thousands of years. The time has come to rise up and end this police state madness once and for all.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 4:29pm Permalink
Shoreline (not verified)

This seems like relatively humane treatment to me. In America, they would have shot his dog, too. But then, Canadians are known for being civilized.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 5:52pm Permalink
HERO FOR FREEDOM (not verified)

Putting a human in jail for selling medicine and the safest recreation drug in the world???
Tobacco kills more people than all illegal and legal drugs combined- throw them in jail!

Why do we let such stupidity and foolish waste of our legal resources for something that is clearly not a crime.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:57pm Permalink
USAMike (not verified)

Free Marc Now ! He did nothing wrong and hurt no one !

Free Marc Emery
Free Marc Emery
Free Marc Emery

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 3:23am Permalink
maxwood (not verified)

1. Presuming Marc will be allowed to handscrawl letters to Jodie, maybe they can publish a running blog reporting on the thousands of sneaky ways prison life is used in the USA to get inmates hooked on nicotine, benefiting a certain "industry" that likes to brag about how American it is. 2. The Magazine should take down that photo of Marc with a "joint" (slavish imitation of the well-advertised tobackgo industry overdose $igarette) and substitute one showing a bong or (best of all) a 25-mg. serving-size one-hitter. Don't let the a$$holes accuse us of being just another drug overdose thing like Big 2WackGo.
3. I was always a little worried about the "Prince of Pot" mystique because (a) the word "pot" is scare word in the life of young children in Anglo-Saxon countries for the last 500 years, (b) some a$$holes are probably getting revenge for the blasphemy against their hero Jesus of Nazareth.

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 3:34pm Permalink

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