In an outrageous verdict that shows the disparity of Canadian Cannabis Law, in order to “set an example” Saskatoon Judge Lavoie sentenced Marc Emery to 3 months in jail for passing two joints! If this is drug trafficking what was Paul Martin’s wife doing when she was dishing out hash brownies? Send out the Press Release on the show page to your local media and write PM Martin and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler and tell them what you think about this travesty of justice.
Mail Marc a Letter of Support c/o Saskatoon Correctional Centre 910 60th St. East, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 2H6
To be part of the protests and vigils that will be held in Marc’s honor contact Dana Larsen [email protected]
Contact the Judge who sent Marc to Jail
Judge D. Albert Lavoie
Provincial Court of Saskatchewan
220 – 19th Street
Saskatoon, SK S7K 2H6
London, ON N6A 6A5
Fax: (519) 933-8008
Email: [email protected]
Contact the Crown Prosecutor who was trying to get Marc two years for passing a joint!
123 – 2nd Avenue South, 10th Floor
Write the Canadian Justice Department and demand that Judge Lavoie be removed from the Bench and that Marc Emery’s sentence be reversed: [email protected]
The Criminal Code gives the Minister of Justice the power to review a conviction to determine whether there may have been a miscarriage of justice. This power has been part of Canada’s justice system since the original Criminal Code of 1892. Today, the Minister’s power to review convictions is set out in sections 696.1-696.6 in Part XXI.1 of the Criminal Code.
Write Justice Minister Irwin Cotler care of the Justice department
Get this Press Release Out To Your Local Media!
AUGUST 19, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CANADA’S PROVOCATIVE ‘PRINCE OF POT’ GOES TO JAIL FOR PASSING JOINTS
SASKATOON – Marc Emery, President of the B.C. Marijuana Party, founder of POT-TV.net and one of Canada’s most media-savvy and provocative pot activists was sentenced to 90 days in jail in a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Provincial Court late this afternoon by Judge Lavoie on a charge of trafficking marijuana. The charge stem from a March 22, 2004 incident following a political speech Emery gave at the University of Saskatoon in the run up to the federal election.
Emery shared two marijuana cigarettes with individuals who met with him after attending his speech. Currently under Canadian law the non-commercial transfer of marijuana between individuals, even for the purposes of sharing, is considered trafficking. The proposed Liberal government’s decriminalization bill would not change this aspect of the law despite strong objections by the NDP.
A Statistics Canada report released July 21 revealed that over one third (over ten million Canadians) have used marijuana in their lifetime. Presumably in most if not all of these instances, marijuana was transferred between individuals on a non-commercial basis (i.e. shared with a friend or spouse). Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that simply passing a joint between friends is considered trafficking under law and would lead to being put in jail. The charge of trafficking carries with it a possible seven year jail sentence for simply passing a joint to a friend.
Following his arrest Emery spent three nights in jail, was forced to pay $3,500 bail and additional legal costs, as well as agree to stipulations severely restricting his rights and freedoms – all for passing two joints. As one of the most tenacious, prominent and visible leaders of the cannabis political movement in Canada, Emery’s incarceration is sure to set off political fireworks in the coming months as an growing and embolden pro-legalization activist community prepares to launch a full offensive against the government’s effort to revive a failed decriminalization bill in the fall. Emery’s case stands as an example of how the weak and ill-conceived Liberal decriminalization bill would do very little to improve the lives of Canadians and the flaws inherent in the current system.
Activists hope to use Emery’s situation as an example to convey the sense of injustice that continues to be felt as a result of a thirty year failure to reform Canada’s outdated prohibition laws. In this day and age, no Canadian should be subjected to a prison for pot use between friends, say activists. In 2002, the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs unanimously found that the policy of prohibiting marijuana causes more harm to Canadians than inherently exists from marijuana use alone. On June 5, 2004, just weeks before the federal election, Emery spoke to a crowd of thousands at an unprecedented pro-legalization rally on Parliament Hill. Emery was scheduled to appear next at the Canabian Day festival in Hamilton on Saturday August 21.
Marc Emery’s legal counsel, Leanne Johnson 306-249-6592 or 306-717-4157
Media Contact BC Marijuana Party, Pot TV (604)684-7076; or Chris Bennett(604) 215-7973