Skip to main content

Free Marc Emery!! Canada's Prince of Pot Has Begun His Journey Into America's Gulag

Submitted by Phillip Smith on
Marc Emery is no longer a free man. Canada's Prince of Pot was taken into custody today. He turned himself in at the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver, and is now jailed in Vancouver awaiting imminent extradition to the US, where he is set to plead guilty to one count of marijuana distribution for selling pot seeds over the Internet. Emery is expected to be sentenced to five years in federal prison in the US for his seed sales. He sold millions of seeds in the decade prior to his 2005 arrest and became a leading hemispheric advocate for marijuana legalization, using the profits from his seed sales to fund reformers across the continent. He also called out then drug czar John Walters for lying about marijuana and interfering in Canadian domestic politics, leading then DEA head Karen Tandy to issue this press release lauding his arrest as a blow to the legalization movement:
Today's DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group -- is a signficant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement. His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today. Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General's most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets -- one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canda. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.
Can you say politically motivated? I knew you could. One American attorney familiar with his case told me this weekend that Emery could have fought the prosecution and sought to have shown that it was unlawfully politically motivated, but that Emery and his Canadian legal team didn't want to take that risk. That's understandable, given that Emery was looking at decades or even life in prison if he lost. Now, America's legions of unknown marijuana martyrs are being joined by one very big name. Let's hope that Emery's unjust imprisonment turns a spotlight on the hideousness of a US federal legal system that turns a blind eye to torture but cages a man for selling pot seeds. The Vancouver Sun's Ian Mulgrew sums it up nicely in an op-ed piece entitled Marc Emery's Sentence Reeks of Injustice and Mocks Our Sovreignty:
After two decades as Canada's Prince of Pot, Marc Emery will surrender himself today in B.C. Supreme Court and become the country's first Marijuana Martyr. Emery will begin serving what could be as long as five years behind bars as Uncle Sam's prisoner for a crime that in Canada would have earned him at most a month in the local hoosegow. It is a legal tragedy that in my opinion marks the capitulation of our sovereignty and underscores the hypocrisy around cannabis. Emery hasn't even visited America but he was arrested in July 2005 at the request of a Republican administration that abhorred his politics. He is being handed over to a foreign government for an activity we are loath to prosecute because we don't think selling seeds is a major problem. There are at least a score of seed-sellers downtown and many, many more such retail outlets across the country. In the days ahead, once the federal justice minister signs the extradition papers, Emery will be frog-marched south to Seattle where his plea bargain will be rubber-stamped and he will be sent to a U.S. penitentiary. For comparison, consider that the B.C. Court of Appeal last year said a one-month jail sentence plus probation was appropriate punishment for drug and money-laundering offences of this ilk. The last time Emery was convicted in Canada of selling pot seeds, back in 1998, he was given a $2,000 fine.
There's more at the link above, but you get the gist. Mulgrew, of course, is right on the money. The Canadian government has shamefully failed to protect one of its citizens from the crazed drug war machine south of the border, and the US government is shamelessly imprisoning yet another non-violent pot person--this time mainly to shut him up. We should demand that Marc Emery and all other marijuana prisoners be immediately released. Short of that, we should, as Emery requests, demand that he be allowed to serve his time at home in a Canadian prison.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
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.