Upbeat Marc Emery on way to jail

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      Canada’s Prince of Pot finds great irony in his pending extradition south of the border.

      “They’re going to legalize marijuana in California, in Nevada, and much of the United States very soon,” Marc Emery noted in a phone interview with the Georgia Straight. “It’s quite possible I’ll be incarcerated even though I’m one of the people who provided the wherewithal for all these legalization movements to happen. I’ll be in jail being persecuted while they’re out, Americans are actually out, celebrating.”

      Emery is currently on bail from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre. He faces a five-year sentence in a U.S. prison for selling marijuana seeds from his Vancouver shop.

      Although all Emery can hope for is an immediate transfer to a Canadian jail, he has huge optimism about the future of the marijuana-legalization crusade that he helped nurture.

      In 2009, measures to tax and regulate recreational marijuana were filed in the state assemblies of California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington. The group Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Law has started work on a ballot initiative in 2012 to create a legal market. Several states allow medical marijuana use.

      “Let’s face it: the majority of Canadians want to legalize marijuana, and now the majority of Americans do as well,” Emery said.

      He said he has no doubt why American federal authorities are out to get him: it was all told in the media statement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration when he was arrested on July 29, 2005. Then DEA administrator Karen Tandy declared that his arrest was “a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement”.

      What Emery considers particularly egregious is that Canadian federal authorities have been working with the Americans to get him extradited. “The thing is rather than even charge me here, the Canadian government conspired with the U.S. to have the justice system outsourced to them so they could punish me more severely,” he said.

      According to information provided by Emery’s Cannabis Culture on-line magazine, there are two precedent cases involving the sale of marijuana seeds in Canada. In one, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that a $200 fine, not a prison sentence, is the appropriate punishment. In the other case, the same appellate court determined that the penalty shouldn’t be harsher than one month in prison and one year of probation.

      Emery’s bail will expire on January 8. Although he entered into a plea bargain with U.S. authorities last summer that will likely see him sentenced to at least five years in prison, it will still take the signature of Justice Minister and Attorney General Rob Nicholson, a federal Conservative, to extradite the marijuana activist to the U.S.

      Emery said he hopes that one day the full details of what went on between the Canadian and American governments to put him away will finally come to light. Through an access-to-information request, he has received from the justice ministry 6,000 pages of reports and correspondence, all of which have been blacked out. “It’s amazing,” he said. “It took us a year before they would actually get it back to us. A lot of them can’t be revealed because they’re communicating with the Americans.”

      The federal NDP’s Libby Davies is also interested in knowing the background to Emery’s extradition. The Vancouver East MP related that she didn’t learn very much when she put in a question on the order paper in the House of Commons. She noted that her office recently filed a request for information with the Justice Ministry.

      “I just feel that the whole process was very bad,” Davies told the Straight by phone. “And the Canadian government has never been clear about its involvement or what its interactions or discussions have been with the U.S. drug-enforcement officials.”

      For Davies, information surrounding Emery’s case is a matter of Canadian interest. “He’s really done no harm,” she said. “He’s not hurt anybody.”




      Dec 30, 2009 at 9:13am

      It makes sense that Emery's FOI request was so heavily redacted. The Conservatives are obviously ashamed by their own words. The word conspiracy has a foul taste these days. Tastes like Tory chicken...

      irite mon

      Dec 30, 2009 at 12:54pm

      Conservatives are looking like America's secret operative to dismantle our Canadian sovereignty. Time to stuff some green up the Tories propaganda machine's tailpipe and smoke out this draconic government.
      FREE MARC EMERY from the injustices of a political system which is subverting the citizen's of Canada.


      Dec 30, 2009 at 1:51pm

      The Harper Conservatives are the greatest allies the organized criminal gangs could ever have. What irony, or if I was a conspiracy theorist....

      God Incarnate

      Dec 30, 2009 at 3:58pm

      People who demonize the holy herb are foolish, and themselves fueling the pagan empire. You all get yours in your last moment on earth, the DMT released provides you with an extensive experience - You get to see how truly evil , or good you are, and how pointless, or beautiful it all was (created your own hell; that you wasted your life and didn't work towards your true dreams or goals... or heaven, whatever you want it to be.) If hemp hadn't been made illegal the steel, lumber, petroleum, and western medicine (refined poisons) would all be nothing but the jokes they truly are.
      A group of greedy people hijacked this planet, they took our easy to grow, 25% protein grain, with the perfect balance of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids away from us. It's so hard to grow legal hemp that the hemp seed is extremely expensive to eat (no one cares it is the most healthy thing for sapiens) All hail the miracle hemp, burn the pagan empire.

      Robert Carter

      Dec 30, 2009 at 4:24pm

      The Liberals had to be ousted after 13 years of Chretien. Now that we've had a break and a taste of the Conservatives it's time for a change again. Now if only the Liberals could get their house in order. Right now they are a befuddled mess. You've got to scratch your head...Martin, Dion and now Iggy. Does the Liberal insiders club ever look out the window ? At this point I still can't vote for the Decrepit party of Canada so it looks like the NDP or Green....which unfortunately means another Conservative government. What we need in this country is electoral reform. Some sort of proportional representation would be a heck of a lot better that the current system where we just trade one loser for another.


      Dec 30, 2009 at 6:05pm

      There again is the difference between hemp and pot. Same family of plants but they ARE different. My partner and I eat and use many HEMP products. I do not appreciate that a shop in Langley has chosen to call itself Hempy's while selling only pot related items...not hemp related items. Makes it tough for the retailers that actually sell hemp...


      Dec 30, 2009 at 7:25pm

      I would like to thank mark emery for being the kind of person he is california has mmj , a million seeds it took

      and still the fear mongers the US government knew all along THC shrinks tumors a cure cancer for cancer? maybe.. but the government holds its position conspiracy? or ignorance
      The US has turned into a prison machine draining every penny from the economy now were looking to other nations for victims

      god bless Mark Emery


      Dec 30, 2009 at 8:59pm

      “Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status.” Steven Harper

      Now there's the proud Canadian, with his Mickey Mouse diploma from a second rate ex prairie bible college, put in charge of making sure that we stay the second rate country he calls us.

      As pink little coward afraid to even administer our own justice system and able with our quisling press to rule the country based on his own religious principles.


      Dec 31, 2009 at 7:02am

      Hopefully we can make coffee illegal soon so we can arrest million of hyped up tweaking coffee addicts and get Mexicans to kill each other over coffee smuggling.


      Dec 31, 2009 at 7:55am

      In the end, all the hullabaloo is over some guy going to jail for breaking the law. Get over it. What you think of that particular law is immaterial. The person knew of this long standing law and chose to break it...and I'm sure it was done repeatedly. Good for you, Mark...now go to jail and do your time. With all of the resources available to the groups looking to overturn this existing law...not one of them thought it would be a good idea to work within the existing system to effect the desired change. Might take a little longer but then people from outside the issue might be less likely to think you're all a bunch of bong slinging, ne'er do-wells on a perpetual cruise for munchies. As for the comment above regarding the differences between hemp products and pot. Got to agree 100% with the posted observation. Do you honestly think that you can get your pot legalized by piggybacking into the market place by trying to make it synonymous with hemp? I for one, hope not. Still think that pot and hemp are the same? You clearly have not tried smoking a hemp t-shirt....