Marc Emery arrested

Marc EmeryMarc EmeryMarc Emery’s college cannabis speaking tour took a hard turn last night (Monday, March 22, 2004), when Saskatoon police arrested the cannabis seed seller and international activist after Emery gave a rousing speech to students at the University of Saskatchewan.
As of Tuesday morning, Emery is in jail, awaiting a bail hearing.

Emery’s life partner reports that she became concerned when Emery did not call her after his speaking appearance as he usually does, and that she was “up all night” trying to get the Saskatoon police to tell her of her partner’s whereabouts, to no avail.

According to eyewitnesses, Emery showed up at a gathering of college students who were hanging out at the Vimy Memorial near Emery’s hotel about two hours after the speech.

Emery and about 40 students smoked some “very potent weed,” according to eyewitness Justin McGowan.

“About 20 minutes after Marc showed up, three or four cops arrived and said ‘We smell marijuana.’ They asked if anybody had marijuana and Marc said he had some. They arrested him. One of the people there asked if they could take a picture of Marc being arrested, and a cop said no. I asked, ‘Don’t we have a constitutional right to photograph you?’ and the cop responded, ‘No, actually police have a constitutional right not to be photographed.’ Then they asked me if I happened to have any marijuana on me, and yeah I was stupid, I had a pipe and some buds, so they arrested me, but they didn’t take me into custody. I have to go to court on June 8,” McGowan said ruefully.

Emery was taken to jail after his arrest. A spokesperson for the detention cells at the Saskatoon police department said late Tuesday morning that Emery had been transferred into court custody, and was remanded to a prison in Saskatoon until another bail hearing on Wednesday morning. Apparently, a possession charge against Emery has been dropped, but a much more serious charge, trafficking, remains in force.

McGowan says students were smoking out near Emery’s hotel for a long time before the police showed up. He said that he didn’t see any uniformed police officers observing the group, and could not ascertain if any undercover officers or other police had infiltrated the gathering or had been observing it.

“I talked to the officer who arrested me for a long time, and he didn’t even know who Marc was,” McGowan said.

The arrest caused a storm of protests and controversy in Canada. Online reports and other sources indicate that the Saskatoon police department and Canadian media have been bombarded by emails and phone calls protesting Emery’s arrest and demanding his release.

Cannabis Culture editor and co-publisher Dana Larsen, who has worked with Emery for ten years, says that being arrested as an activist is nothing new for Emery.

“It’s another terrible thing that should not have happened, but he’s been arrested nine times for selling cannabis seeds, and at one point was facing life in prison for that. Last year, during his smoke-out tour, he was arrested several times, and treated badly by police during one arrest. It’s the price he pays for giving his life for the legalization of marijuana,” Larsen said.

A college student who also witnessed the arrest said that Emery is an inspiration to students, and that the arrest is a sign of “how stupid the police are here.”

“What I’d like to get out to people is Marc is the one guy out of all guys who sell seeds who is doing it for some reason other than money. A lot of my friends buy seeds based only on price or who has the nicest seed ad, but I always tell them that Emery is the one who started the whole thing in Canada, and that he is doing this because he loves the weed and he wants us all to be able to grow it for free, and he is giving his money and time away, while the other guys selling seeds are just making profits and doing nothing else for this cause other than milking it. It should be obvious that if you are going to spend your money on seeds, spend it with Marc,” the student said.

Sources close to Emery say that his supporters should inundate Saskatoon police, the Department of Corrections, and media outlets with pro-Emery letters and phone calls that put pressure on the police and convince media to report on Emery’s plight. The following list of contacts will be helpful in that endeavor.

It is unclear how this arrest will affect other dates on Emery’s college tour. Updates about Emery’s situation are available on the Cannabis Culture forums, and will also be provided on Pot-TV news.

Remaining college tour dates:

* March 24 – University of Alberta at Edmonton, Alumni Room in the Students Union building at 3pm
* March 25 – Lethbridge (Alberta) Community College, IB Theatre, 1pm
* March 29 – Memorial University of NFLD, Breezeway Bar, Students Center Building, 5pm
* March 31 – University of Western Ontario, Atrium of University Community Centre (UCC), 11am-1pm

For more information on the college tour, contact Jody Pressman at: 613-829-9239

Saskatoon police department: 306 975 8219; Department of Corrections: 306 956 8910; Saskatoon courts: 306 933 6698.

Emery seeds:

Media outlet emails (Send an email to one and cc: the email to all. Ask the media to cover this arrest and Marc’s pro-pot activities):

Carillon@URSU.Uregina.CA (Carillon) (Estevan Mercury) (Grenfell Sun & Broadview Express) (Maple Creek News) (Meadow Lake Progress) (Melfort Journal, The) (Moose Jaw Times-Herald) (Nipawin Journal, The) (Observer, The) (Prince Albert Daily Herald) (Regina Leader-Post) (Sheaf, The) (StarPhoenix, The) (Western Producer) (Weyburn Review) (Weyburn This Week) (Whitewood Herald) (World-Spectator, The) (Wynyard Advance Gazette) (Yorkton This Week) (100 Mile House Free Press) (Abbotsford News) (Abbotsford Times) (Agassiz Harrison Observer) (Alaska Highway News) (Aldergrove Star) (Arrow Lakes News) (Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal, The) (Asian Pacific Post, The) (Burnaby Newsleader) (Burnaby Now, The) (Business In Vancouver) (Caledonia Courier) (Campbell River Mirror) (Cariboo Advisor, The) (Castlegar Citizen) (Castlegar Sun, The) (Chief, The) (Chilliwack Progress) (Chilliwack Times) (Clearwater Times) (Coast Reporter) (Comox Valley Echo) (Comox Valley Record) (Coquitlam Now, The) (Cranbrook Daily Townsman) (Creston Valley Advance) (Daily Courier, The) (Delta Optimist) (Duncan News Leader) (Elk Valley Miner, The) (Esquimalt News) (Express) (Fernie Free Press) (Gabriola Sounder) (Georgia Straight, The) (Golden Star) (Goldstream Gazette) (Gulf Islands Driftwood) (Hope Standard) (Kamloops Daily News) (Kamloops This Week) (Kelowna Capital News) (Kitimat Northern Sentinel) (Kootenay Eye, The) (Kootenay News Advertiser) (Ladysmith-Chemanius Chronicle) (Lake Country Calendar) (Lakes District News) (Langley Advance) (Langley Times) (Lookout) (Maple Ridge News) (Maple Ridge Times) (Martlet) (Merritt Herald) (Mission City Record) (Monday Magazine) (Morning Star, The) (Mountainview Weekly, The) (Nanaimo Daily News) (Nanaimo News Bulletin) (Nelson Daily News) (New Westminster Newsleader) (North Island Gazette) (North Island Weekender) (North Shore News) (Oak Bay News) (Oliver Chronicle) (Omineca Express) (Other Press, The) (Parksville Qualicum Beach News) (Peace Arch News) (Peace River Block Daily News) (Peak, The) (Peninsula News Review) (Penticton Herald) (Penticton Western) (Pique Newsmagazine) (Powell River Peak) (Prince George Citizen) (Prince George Free Press) (Prince Rupert Daily News) (Province, The) (Queen Charlotte Observer) (Quesnel Cariboo Observer) (Raven’s Eye) (Record, The) (Report Magazine) (Revelstoke Times Review) (Richmond News) (Richmond Review, The) (Ring, The) (Saanich News) (Salmon Arm Observer) (Saturday Okanagan, The) (Simon Fraser News) (Smithers Interior News) (Sooke News Mirror) (South Delta Leader) (Summerland Review) (Surrey Leader) (Surrey Now) (Tab, The) (Take 5 Community Newsmagazine) (Terrace Standard) (The North Thompson Star/Journal) (The Outlook) (Trail Daily Times) (Tri-City News) (Ubyssey) (Valley Echo, The) (Valley Voice, The) (Vancouver Courier) (Vancouver Magazine) (Vancouver Sun) (Victoria News) (Victoria Times-Colonist) (West Kootenay Weekender) (Westender) (Whistler Question) (Whitecourt Star) (Williams Lake Tribune, The) (WOW Weekly) (Xtra West)